Lithuania sues Gazprom in Stockholm arbitration tribunal
VILNIUS, October 3 - RAPSI. Lithuania has filed a lawsuit against Gazprom in the Stockholm arbitration tribunal seeking nearly 1.5 billion Euros from the Russian gas company, the Lithuanian Energy Ministry reported Wednesday.
"The dispute is connected with the 5 billion lits ($1.448 billion Euros) that were overpaid for gas supplied to Lithuania as part of the corresponding contract," the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said Gazprom agreed to supply natural gas to Lithuania at fair prices based on a price formula indicated in a gas supply and a privatization contract signed by Lietuvos Dujos and Gazprom in 2004.
"From 2004 to 2012, Gazprom's prices for gas supplies increased substantially, as the gas price formulas were changed, which violated the privatization contracts," the ministry said. "The Lietuvos Dujos board members appointed by Gazprom, approved the formulas and probably acted for Gazprom's benefit to the detriment of Lietuvos Dujos when they voted for the changes to the contract." Earlier, Gazprom twice referred to the Stockholm arbitration tribunal because an investigation was being held regarding Lietuvos Dujos and the resulting temporary protection measures.
In early August, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce passed a ruling satisfying most of Gazprom's claims in its lawsuit against the ministry's initiation of proceedings in a Lithuanian court against Lietuvos Dujos and its senior officials. Gazprom said the lawsuit violated the shareholders' agreement. Gazprom owns a 37.1 percent stake in Lietuvos Dujos. The court admitted that Gazprom cannot prohibit the Lithuanian government from raising the issue in court as to whether Lietuvos Dujos' management has fulfilled its duties. However, the arbitration dismissed Gazprom's claims to receive compensation for the damages.
The institute also stressed that the aspects of gas supply prices cannot be considered in a national court, which is why Lithuania has filed its claims with the institute in Stockholm.