"An appeal from the defendant Valery Golubev (deputy chairman of the management boards at Gazprom and Lietuvos Dujos) was received on 10 September," Gintautas Stalnionis, a spokesman for the Vilnius Regional Court, told BNS.
Lietuvos Dujos spokeswoman Jolita Butkienė also confirmed that the company had appealed the decision to a higher instance court. The appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeals.
Following more than a year-long hearing of a dispute between the Lithuanian Energy Ministry and Lietuvos Dujos, on 3 September Vilnius Regional Court decided to open a probe into the activities of Lietuvos Dujos. The court is now to appoint an expert.
The Energy Ministry asked the court to start the investigation in March 2011.
The ministry asked, among other things, to dismiss Gazprom-delegated Valery Golubev and Kiril Seleznev from Lietuvos Dujos' management board for allegedly breaching their duty to avoid conflicts of interest and failing to act for the benefit of all shareholders, not only Gazprom.
The ministry also asked the court to oblige Lietuvos Dujos to open talks with Gazprom on the lowering of gas prices and the terms of gas transit to Kaliningrad, and to carry out other actions to ensure that the company negotiates the most favorable prices of natural gas supply and transit in future.
It also asked the court to dismiss Lietuvos Dujos CEO Viktoras Valentukevičius, if the actions of the company and its management were found to be improper.
At Lithuania's request, the European Commission has recently launched an investigation into Gazprom's possible abuse of its dominant market position.
E.ON Ruhrgas International owns 38.9 percent of shares in Lietuvos Dujos, Gazprom holds 37.1 percent and the Lithuanian Energy Ministry holds 17.7 percent. Lietuvos Dujos is quoted on the blue-chip Main List of the NASDAQ OMX Vilnius stock exchange.