Lithuanian energy minister promises to seek compromise on vetting strategic companies' deals

Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas says that a compromise satisfying all parties would be sought in parliamentary debates on proposals to obligate companies important for national security to notify authorities about large transactions.

The minister on Monday met with the chief executive officer of Orlen Lietuva and high-ranking officials from the Lithuanian oil refinery's Polish shareholder Orlen.

"The minister informed (Orlen's representatives) that (Lithuania's authorities) do hear businesses' proposals and are looking for solutions satisfying all sides, taking into consideration national security interests and concerns raised by businesses," Aurelija Vernickaitė, the energy minister's spokeswoman, told BNS.

The bill on deals concluded by strategic enterprises is currently under discussion at the Seimas.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, head of the parliament's Committee on Economics, said in late October that they sought to set clear-cut criteria under which companies of significance to national security, including Orlen Lietuva, would have to notify the state about large transactions.

Darius Jauniškis, director of the Lithuanian State Security Department, told BNS in an interview in late October that Lithuanian intelligence wanted to receive information and to cooperate with businesses in order to prevent dangerous investments from Russia.

The Energy Ministry on Monday also informed the Polish company's officials about specific plans for improving business conditions, including a new procedure for differentiating public service obligations (PSO).

Orlen Lietuva, together with the fertilizer manufacturers Achema and Lifosa, want the PSO charge for electricity generated for their own needs to be lowered or scrapped altogether.

Source: BNS
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