“We call on the European Commission to urgently open an investigation into possible deliberate market manipulation by Gazprom and a potential violation of EU competition rules,” MEPs said in the letter.
The concerns were echoed by senior MPs. Tobias Ellwood, former minister and chair of the defense committee, said: “This attempt to manipulate gas prices is an example of a gray area conflict where economies are directly targeted to provoke political unrest and stir up civil unrest. An example of the constant competition we face today from authoritarian regimes.
Chris Bryant, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Telegraph: “Russia has been abusing the energy market in Europe for years, holding countries to ransom and driving up prices. We need a strong united front with other European countries to put an end to these cynical abuses. Boris Johnson must guarantee our energy security without depending on Russia.
Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said last night: “Many of us warned against Nord Stream 2 because Russia has indicated that it will likely use energy as a weapon. What we are seeing now is that it may have already started. If we want to defend ourselves, we must seriously think about cooperation in energy security, not to let ourselves be cut off with pipelines that cut off some of our partners. “
Gazprom has denied that it manipulated the offer to drive up prices and force the pipeline to open. Gazprom spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov told Bloomberg that the company “will need to consult its lawyers” on concerns raised by MPs.
“Gazprom delivers gas on demand by consumers in accordance with contractual obligations and aims to meet requests for additional deliveries to the extent possible,” the company said in a statement.
But in separate comments in an online meeting on Friday, Alexey Miller, chief executive of Gazprom, warned that Europe was facing a winter with underfilled gas storage.
Mr Miller said that because of this “we find that prices in Europe have already broken all possible records, and maybe even those already achieved will be broken in the near future”.