Vilniaus Energija, the French-owned company managing the central heating grid in the Lithuanian capital, has accused city authorities of obstructing efforts to find a contractor to appraise the infrastructure it has to hand over to the city next year. Meanwhile a city official said the move was merely an attempt to beef up its arbitration case against Lithuania.
The French group Veolia, which owns heating companies in Lithuania, is suing the country for €100 million at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington. Veolia is demanding compensation for losses it allegedly sustained due to unfair treatment by the Lithuanian government.
Most of Veolia's allegations against Lithuania seem to be unfounded, said Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis on Monday. Masiulis was commenting on the French group's request for arbitration in which it is seeking around €100 million in compensation from the Lithuanian state for allegedly unfair treatment and expropriation of its Lithuanian assets.
Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis says that the arbitration case to be filed against Lithuania by the French group Veolia is a distraction tactic, adding that the government might counter-sue over violations by its subsidiary Vilniaus Energija.
A Vilnius court has ordered a freeze on almost 20 million euros worth of funds of Vilniaus Energija (Vilnius Energy), a local district heating supplier controlled by France's Veolia, a move that the company describes as "an assault" against it and plans to contest.
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