The sale of the National Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA) to Azerbaijani state firm SOCAR is one step closer to completion after the European Commission approved the deal.

The next phase of the privatization is for the Regulatory Authority for Energy to approve the gas system operator’s transfer to SOCAR by late September.

The European Commission has proposed to RAE to restrict SOCAR’s voting rights, if the Azerbaijani firm is found to operate outside the European legal framework and regulations.

For the sale of 66% shares of DESFA, SOCAR will pay a total of 400 million euros; 212 million euros for Hellenic Petroleum and 188 million euros for the Greek state.