Lithuania, Gazprom claim dual win in spat

Aug. 3, 2012 at 7:54 AM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Both sides are claiming victory in a case pitting Russian energy company Gazprom against the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy at an arbitration tribunal.

Gazprom, in a statement, said the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce settled "most" of its claims against the Lithuanian Energy Ministry. Gazprom said the tribunal protected its rights according to the terms of a shareholder agreement with Lithuanian gas provider Lietuvos dujos.

The Lithuanian company in May voted to split its trading division off from its transit operations to meet the terms of European legislation. Gazprom, which has a 37 percent stake in the company, started legal proceedings against the company in response.

Gazprom said the tribunal agreed that the shareholder agreement was the sole document governing its commercial relationship with Lietuvos dujos.

"The Lithuanian authorities did not have the right to turn to the Lithuanian court seeking a forced amendment to the previously agreed terms and conditions of the Russian gas purchase and transit," it added.

The Lithuanian government owns a 17 percent stake in the company. The Platts new service reported the Lithuanian Energy Minister said "the arbitration acknowledged that Gazprom can by no means prohibit the Lithuanian government from questioning the eligibility of Lietuvos dujos' management bodies."

The court last week ruled that Gazprom can't interfere in the company's corporate affairs.

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