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A worker turns a valve at the Nesvizhskaya gas compressor station some 130 kilometres from Minsk, Belarus.
A worker turns a valve at the Nesvizhskaya gas compressor station some 130 kilometres from Minsk, Belarus.
(REUTERS)

BREAKINGVIEWS

Gazprom’s waning influence still packs a punch

Reuters Breakingviews delivers agenda-setting financial insight. Its global correspondents react to stories as they develop, delivering sharp and provocative commentary on big financial news as it breaks.

Gazprom may be a hegemon in retreat, but it’s far from a spent force. Competition from Norway, liquefied natural gas and cheap U.S. coal has weakened the Russian gas giant’s pricing power in Europe. Now upstart Russian producers are agitating for an end to its export monopoly. But Gazprom still commands a quarter of the European gas market. Its recent decision to hand a $7-billion (U.S.) bill to Ukraine for allegedly unpaid supplies is a reminder of its still-formidable heft.