The panel decided to open the investigation following a request submitted last week by Vytautas Gapšys, leader of the Lithuanian Labor Party’s parliamentary group, VTEK said in a press release.
The Labor parliamentary group issued a statement last week, saying that Kubilius-led Homeland Union had repeatedly received financial support from the companies of Achema Group, which also supported its individual candidates' electoral campaigns. According to the statement, the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats received more than 150,000 litas (EUR 43,478) in support from Achema’s companies in 2008 alone.
Meanwhile, Kubilius said earlier in February that his letter sent in 2009 to Gazprom’s executive contained nothing about any discounts on natural gas and he only asked to transfer Achema to the system of Gazprom Export. He then added that he would have written similar letters on account of Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas), if the natural gas imports and transportation company had filed a similar request to the authorities.
Alexander Medvedev, Vice-President of Gazprom and CEO of Gazprom Export, the Russian group’s export arm, confirmed early in February that Gazprom would sell gas to Achema at a price lower than to Lietuvos Dujos. According to media reports, a new contract has been signed for 10-15 years.
Achema is the biggest gas consumer in Lithuania. When operating at full capacity, it uses up around one-third of the country’s total gas needs.