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Prime Minister: Lithuania has to talk to Gazprom respectfully

Algirdas Butkevičius pažadėjo paieškoti daugiau pinigų Klaipėdos dramos teatrui.
Aurelijos Kripaitės/15min.lt nuotr. / Algirdas Butkevičius
Šaltinis: BNS
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Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius believes that Lithuania has to talk to Russia’s gas company Gazprom, its sole natural gas supplier, respectfully, and not categorically.

Butkevičius would not speculate now whether an agreement on lower prices of gas for Lithuania could be reached at the meeting with Alexey Miller, Gazprom CEO, on Friday.

“I think that we should not use any categorical language. We should predominantly use expert language and should just make efforts to communicate, to solve those issues pertaining to the transit of gas through Lithuania, to gas imports on the basis of the principles of mutual respect. I think we will be able to say tomorrow after that meeting what we have managed to achieve,” Butkevičius said in an interview to Žinių Radijas on Thursday.

“I may only say that whenever we organize a meeting, I always pursue that goal to lower the price of gas for Lithuania,” he added.

Prime Minister and Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovič will meet with Miller in Vilnius on Friday.

According to the news portal vz.lt, a visit by Gazprom’s CEO might be related with the European Commission’s probe into alleged abuse of dominance on the EU market, which is nearing completion.

Butkevičius told BNS last week that Lithuania would not make any concessions to Gazprom, whether it concerned the Third Energy Package, a long-term gas supply contract, or a suit with Stockholm arbitration. He also said that he expected Gazprom to lower the price of gas for Lithuania by approximately one-fifth.

Unofficial sources earlier told BNS that Lithuania could drop lawsuits over a probe into the activities of Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas), Lithuania’s gas supply company that is partly owned by Gazprom, and its management as well as a 5 billion litas (EUR 1.45b) claim filed with Stockholm arbitration in exchange for cheaper gas from Gazprom.

Moreover, depending on the scale of discounts, Lithuania could reportedly agree to sign a new long-term gas supply deal for 2013–2020.

As far as 5 billion litas, which are the subject of one arbitration lawsuit, were concerned, Lithuania could recover that amount through discounts for future gas supplies.

BNS
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