Gazprom has dismissed claims it is in talks to purchase a stake in German utility firm RWE.

German media has reported that the Russian gas giant is after a 20% stake in RWE AG’s subsidiary RWE Westfalen-Weser-Ems AG, a regional energy, gas, and water supply firm.

Deputy chief executive Alexander Medvedev told journalists that Gazprom was not holding talks with either RWE management or shareholders.

In a German press interview, Duesseldorf’s mayor Joachim Erwin was quoted as saying the city would be prepared to sell its stake of just under 1% in RWE to Gazprom.

In Italy, Gazprom is planning to strike a deal with oil and gas company ENI. In June of this year Italy’s foreign minister said the country was ready to open its market to Gazprom, enabling it to sell natural gas directly without going through other firms.