Vestager doesn't comment on Lithuania's chances to get Gazprom compensation

Margrethe Vestager

The European Union's (EU) Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has so far refused to comment on the possibilities for European countries to get compensations from Russia's Gazprom gas concern over past overcharging for gas, saying she did not know when the European Commission would complete the Gazprom anti-monopoly survey on its operations in Central and Eastern Europe.

"I don't know yet the conclusion of this case and that is part of reason why it is difficult to give clear comment on the (Lithuanian) president's stance," Vestager told a Vilnius news conference on Tuesday when asked to comment on President Dalia Grybauskaitė's recent statement that Gazprom should compensate Lithuania and other EU countries for excessively high gas prices.

In the commissioner's words, the EC is looking into the information provided by market players about Gazprom's commitments.

"We did a market test and got strong, critical and constructive response from competitors and clients. From the Lithuanian government we also got a response how to make commitments actually work. This question is still open so it is difficult to say if we can end the case with commitments proposed by Gazprom or we have to revert to situation where we give a fine for past behavior," said Vestager.

After the meeting with the Danish politician, Lithuania's president expressed hope that the EC would would stick to its principles with regard to large companies, for instance, in the Gazprom case.

EC is probing Gazprom's abuse of its domination on the Central and Eastern European market in the 2004-2012 period. Earlier this year, the concern pledged to facilitate conditions for countries to freely trade Russian gas and supply them at a competitive price, however, the Lithuanian government demands compensation of damages.

A four-year-old dispute between the Lithuanian government and Russia's gas concern Gazprom over 1.4 billion euros sought by Lithuania at Stockholm arbitration court over overcharging for gas supplies has ended in failure.

Source: BNS
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