Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has no interest in picking up stakes in the German utility RWE, or the RAG foundation, which controls the chemical firm Evonik, the company's vice president Alexander Medvedev told German newspaper Die Welt, according to Thomson Financial.

Mr Medvedev told Die Welt: We are not in talks over acquisitions in Germany. We do not rule out, of course, taking over assets if commercial conditions are favorable.

Mr Medvedev is reported to have added that the Russian utility will increase gas prices in Germany from $300 to $350 per thousand cubic meters. Gazprom supplies around 40% of Germany’s gas requirements.

Furthermore, some German utilities are expected to raise gas retail prices by at least 5.8% in January 2008, according to industry sources.