The European Commission is drafting a formal complaint against Russia’s state-owned gas firm Gazprom complaining the petrochemicals giant is abusing its “dominant position in the gas market”, writes Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

The EU announced a probe into antitrust claims against Gazprom, one of the world’s largest firms and the largest extractor of natural gas, in September 2012.

Gazprom is suspected of disrupting the flow of gas between member states, attempting to thwart the diversification of sources of supply, and of imposing unfair prices on its customers by indexing the price of gas to the price of petroleum.

The statement of objections complaint may be issued to the firm by the end of the year if both sides are unable to open settlement talks to defuse the row, the weekly continued, adding –

A showdown with Gazprom risks inflaming relations with Russia just as [Russian President Vladimir] Putin prepares to host a meeting of leaders from the Group of 20 nations next month in St Petersburg. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned this month that if the European Union imposes antitrust sanctions against Gazprom, ‘it will be difficult for the company to operate in markets where it faces open discrimination.’

The complaint “lays out [the] regulators’ case for the possible imposition of fines and other penalties,” adds the magazine. Firms which are deemed to have breached EU competition regulations can be fined up to 10 per cent of annual revenue.