The state Azeri natural gas company SOCAR is reportedly losing interest in the perspective sale of 66% shares of Greece’s natural gas system operator DESFA.

Although the tender for sale and an advance payment of 400 million euros has been pending since November, the European Commission has essentially blocked the deal, as it investigates an alleged violation of European legislation.

SOCAR’s CEO Rovnag Abdullayev recently commented that he prepared to cooperate with the EC investigation, while revealing that the deadline set for a decision has been expended to the end of 2015. As such, the completion of the privatization is becoming increasingly difficult.

In his Monday evening interview Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras underlined the importance of the sale to SOCAR and how it will be one of the first successful privatizations.