The head of Russian state gas giant Gazprom escaped being named on a list of EU sanctions over the Ukraine crisis after lobbying from European energy firms, Moscow newspaper Vedomosti reported on Thursday.
The daily said Gazprom chief Alexei Miller originally appeared alongside 13 new figures whose names were added to the sanctions list by the European Union on Monday.
"At the insistence of (Gazprom's) European partners, Miller's name was left off the list," it said, citing several sources.
Vedomosti said European firms were concerned that adding Miller would complicate Gazprom's dealings with Europe, which relies on Russia for slightly less than a third of its gas supplies.
It said French, German and Italian firms were involved and quoted a source at a European company saying much effort had been put into the lobbying.
"It wasn't easy to get through to the authorities (in Brussels), it took a number of phone calls to get a reaction," the anonymous source said.
The EU and United States have imposed sanctions -- including visa bans and assets freezes -- on dozens of Russian officials over Russia's annexation earlier this year of Crimea and Moscow's alleged role in fostering unrest in eastern Ukraine.