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Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller to come to Vilnius

„Gazprom“ vadovas Aleksejus Milleris
„Reuters“/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Alexey Miller, CEO of Gazprom
Šaltinis: BNS

Alexey Miller, the CEO of Russia's gas giant Gazprom, is expected to come to Vilnius next week.

Miller is scheduled to meet with Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius on Friday, September 6, Evelina Butkutė-Lazdauskienė, the prime minister's spokeswoman, has confirmed to BNS.

"The meeting (with Butkevičius) is planned for September 6, but we don't have final confirmation yet," she said.

According to the Vz.lt news portal, no meetings with other Lithuanian officials are currently on Miller's schedule.

Miller met with the then prime minister Andrius Kubilius during his last visit to Vilnius four years ago, in September 2009.

The top-level meeting between Gazprom and Lithuanian government officials can be the result of initiatives from both Butkevičius' team and the Russian company, the website reports.

The prime minister and his team have made no secret of their efforts to bring the process of negotiations with Gazprom out of the deadlock.

Butkevičius and other officials have said publicly and in private that Lithuania is ready to soften its stance in the talks. It is said that the country stands firm on its position regarding the EU's third energy package and not signing a long-term supply contract, but perhaps it could withdraw its 1.5-billion-euro claim against the Russian gas supplier filed with the Stockholm arbitration court over "unfair pricing."

Active negotiating moves by Gazprom could also be prompted by the European Commission's probe into suspected abuse of market dominance by the Russian giant in the EU market, which is nearing completion and can result in a sanction against the supplier.

It could be expected that Gazprom's CEO will come to Vilnius with a mandate from the Kremlin to negotiate and reach agreement on principal issues, Vz.lt reports.

Some Lithuanian officials say that there have been signals from Brussels that Vilnius should not rush to agree with Gazprom on key principles and at least wait for tangible results of the anti-trust probe. However, it does not look like these signals have made any impression on Butkevičius.

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