Lithuanian government still undecided on appealing EC's Gazprom decision

Gazprom

Lithuania's government is still undecided as to whether it will appeal the European Commission's decision regarding a probe against Russian gas giant Gazprom.

The EU executive concluded in May after its anti-trust probe that Gazprom may have used its dominant market position to charge higher gas prices in five Central and Eastern European countries, including Lithuania.

Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas says the country still has time to make up its mind as the EC document has not published yet.

"In principle, we have two months after the formal document is published. So we have plenty of time, and I think that we have that cooperation with Poland and we'll look into all formats, all variants, all options are currently open," the minister told BNS Lithuania on Tuesday.

Vaičiūnas said in May Lithuania should discuss the appeal possibility with Poland, Bulgaria and other countries, which had been consulted earlier.

Polish state-run gas company PGNiG plans to appeal the Commission's decision after it demanded tough sanctions against the Russian giant.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis also said in May that Lithuania might appeal the EC decision, saying that all offenders need to be subject to equal criteria when it comes to competition offences.

Vaičiūnas underlined that the decision can be appealed within two months from its official publication. And as far as the minister knows, the decision has not been published yet.

Following a seven-year antitrust probe into Gazprom business practices in Central and Eastern Europe, the Commission failed to impose a fine on Gazprom. Vaičiūnas said, however, that it was a certain political victory fro Lithuania and other countries. A fine would have stepped up Lithuania's position when seeking 1.5 billion euros in compensation in the Stockholm arbitration court.

Source: BNS
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