News Summary: Gazprom lashes out over EU probe
PUTIN THE BLAME ON EU: Gazprom accused the European Commission of pressuring the Russian energy company into slashing gas prices soon after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that could hinder an EU probe into whether it suppressed competition in Central and Eastern Europe.
ONGOING DISPUTE: State-owned Gazprom has been under pressure for its pricing for some time. Some of its clients negotiated discounts while others threatened with lawsuits.
TAKING THE BAT AND BALL: Gazprom officials say the developments are pushing the company to revise its long-term strategy and start looking east, rather than to Europe, for customers. The company said its board may soon speed up the development of gas fields in Russia's east which would increase the potential resource base for Asian exports.