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Published: 24 september 2013 14:14

Lithuania asks Gazprom to sell its stake in Amber Grid

„Gazprom“
„RIA Novosti“/„Scanpix“ / „Gazprom“

Lithuania has proposed that Russia's gas giant Gazprom sell its stake in the gas transmission system operator Amber Grid, a government spokeswoman has confirmed on Tuesday.

"Yes, Lithuania's position includes the Amber Grid issue. The current shareholders have been presented with a proposal and they have to take decisions as to how to separate the activities. After they make up their minds, Lithuania will be able to speak about further possible steps," Evelina Butkutė-Lazdauskienė, the prime minister's spokeswoman, told BNS.

Lithuania's answers to Gazprom's proposals, prepared by a working group headed by Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovič, will be sent on Tuesday, she said.

Gazprom Vice-Chairman Valery Golubev was quoted by the media as saying on Monday that the Russian company was ready to sell its stake in Amber Grid. He said that Gazprom had not yet received any concrete proposals from the Lithuanian government regarding the sale of the shares or the possible price.

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said after a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller in Vilnius in early September that Lithuania was planning to buy the stakes in Amber Grid from Germanys' E.ON and Gazprom.

However, Lithuanian Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovič said at that time that the purchase of the shares was not being discussed yet.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in Vilnius last week that he did not rule out that the European Union might consider helping Lithuania to finance the purchase of the shares in the gas transmission system operator.

The gas transmission pipelines of Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas) were spun off into a new company, Amber Grid, in late July to bring it into line with the EU's Third Energy Package. Gazprom will have to exit Amber Grid by November 2014.

In line with the package, gas supply, distribution and transmission operations must have separate owners. It is therefore likely that the government will purchase the shares of Amber Grid from Gazprom and E.ON. It is thought that Gazprom would ask a big price for its stake.

Gazprom currently owns 37.06 percent of shares in Amber Grid, E.ON Ruhrgas International holds 38.9 percent, and the Lithuanian Energy Ministry owns 17.7 percent.

BNS
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Temos: 1 Amber Grid, AB
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