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Russia's Gazprom to repay European clients 1 billion euros as part of accord

MOSCOW--Russia's Gazprom will repay about 1 billion euros (US$1.28 billion) to its European clients by the end of the year as part of an agreement to cut gas prices, a company official said on Monday.

The state-run gas producer had agreed to tweak long-term deals with key European customers who claimed that its prices were too high and it returned more than 78 billion roubles (US$2.43 billion) in the first quarter.

The repayments failed to stop the European Commision from launching an investigation into Gazprom last week. The Commission is to look at suspected anti-competitive practices in central and eastern Europe and could issue fines of up to US$5 billion.

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