Lithuanian energmin: EC probe to help control Gazprom's behavior in Europe

Žygimantas Vaičiūnas

Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas says that the European Commission's investigation into Gazprom's operations in Central and Eastern Europe will help to better control the Russian gas giant's behavior in the European gas market.

The European Commission took into account a considerable part of Lithuania's proposals, which turned Gazprom's earlier-proposed symbolic commitments into instruments that will actually function in the market," Vaičiūnas said in a press release.

"Throughout the period of eight years that the commitments will be in place, it will be monitored whether Gazprom complies with these obligations. If Gazprom fails to comply, the Russian company will be fined without any further investigations," he said.

According to Vaičiūnas, Lithuania will continue to look for ways of compensating for the losses incurred by Lithuanian gas consumers.

"We cannot write off estimated losses of about 1.5 billion euros that Gazprom caused to Lithuanian consumers by abusing its monopolist position in the market. Therefore, we will continue to look for ways to make Gazprom compensate for these losses," the minister said.

"The European Commission's investigation and agreements achieved do not prevent this," he added.

Russia's gas giant Gazprom may have used its dominant market position to charge higher gas prices in five Central and Eastern European countries, including Lithuania, the EC said on Thursday after completing its anti-trust probe launched six years ago.

The EU's executive body imposed binding obligations on Gazprom. It will face a fine of up to 10 percent of its annual global turnover, which amounted to around 91 billion euros in 2017, if it breaks its commitments.

Source: BNS
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