In defence of Gazprom

Russian gas giant Gazprom has its sights set on building stronger commercial relationships in Europe. It is widely anticipated that Europe will depend more on imports for its gas needs in the future - and Gazprom is positioning itself as a reliable supplier. But 2006 has got off to a rocky start.

A series of supply shocks has damaged Gazprom's reputation. Now that the dust has settled, however, it is clear that coverage of the affair has relied too much on a simplistic political reading of the

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