Lithuanian railway co to appeal against EC fine - CEO

Mantas Bartuška

Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LG) intends to file an appeal against the European Commission's (EC) move to slap it with a fine of nearly 28 million euros for the 2008 removal of tracks from Mažeikiai to the Latvian city of Renge, Mantas Bartuška, CEO of the state-run company, stated on Wednesday.

In his words, this will be done to reduce the fine and defend the company's reputation.

"We have thoroughly analyzed the decision and there is no doubt that we will appeal against the European Commission's decision. We have two months for preparations and drafting of the final strategy and the argumentation. What is important is that we have good relations with Orlen, we continue talking about settlement of the situation, as Orlen freight is very important for us," Bartuska told a news conference.

"In terms of procedures, we have to pay the fine but we can also appeal it. (…) We will seek to reduce it and defend the company's reputation," he added.

In Bartuška's words, the sum of the fine is large: "Hearing a case for nine years is an unparalleled and unprecedented case. There are clear possibilities to reduce or even annul the fine."

He said the litigation with the European Commission could cost about 500,000 euros.

"Without doubt, we will need external experts in a case of such complexity. We currently have a contract of legal services with Linklaters law office (of Great Britain). The sums will depend on the scope of the case, the duration and the complexity. Our calculations today are that it will be around half a million of euros," said Bartuška.

Source: BNS
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