Amicable agreement with Gazprom possible, Lithuania says
VILNIUS, February 11 (RAPSI) - An amicable agreement between Lithuania and Gazprom in a Stockholm Chamber of Commerce is possible if the terms of the agreement are better than the expected outcome of the arbitration, Nerijus Udrenas, the chief advisor on economic and social policy to the Lithuanian president said in an interview with radio station Ziniu radijas.
In October 2012, Lithuania filed a EUR 1.5 billion claim against Gazprom with the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.
The Lithuanian Energy Ministry claimed that Gazprom agreed to supply natural gas to Lithuania at fair prices based on a price formula stipulated in a gas supply and privatization contract signed by Lietuvos Dujos and Gazprom in 2004. However, gas prices increased considerably between 2004 and 2012, as the formula for the prices were allegedly changed in violation of the privatization contract.
Also, at the initiative of the Lithuanian government and with the support of major shareholder, E.ON (38.9%), Lietuvos Dujos plans to file another suit against the Russian gas giant regarding unreasonably high gas prices. Gazprom owns 37.1% in Lietuvos Dujos.
Udrenas also suggests the necessity to confirm whether Gazprom actually agrees with the implementation of the EU’s Third Energy Package without any further conditions.
The prime minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevičius, has said that a principle agreement has been reached with Gazprom on the adoption of the EU Third Energy Package in the country. According to the deal, the Russian gas company is to step out of the management of Amber Grid by next November. Amber Grid is a Lithuanian gas transit operator whose major shareholders are Gazprom (37.06%) and E.ON Ruhrgas (38.0%).