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The Lithuanian parliament's Committee on Economics seeks to set clear-cut criteria under companies important for national security would have to notify the government about large transactions.
Telia Lietuva
Telia Lietuva
© DELFI / Modesta Meškė

Virginijus Sinkevičius, head of the committee, says that only one or two transactions per year would be subject to approval by a special government commission.

According to the lawmaker, the new procedure would apply not only for state-controlled strategic enterprises, but also for three large privately-owned companies including Orlen Lietuva, Achema and Telia Lietuva.

"Hearings are currently underway at the committee to clarify that law (on enterprises of strategic importance to national security) to bring it into line with the OECD requirements and security requirements, as well as to take into consideration the State Security Department's remarks and to coordinate it with companies, both state-owned ones and those falling under category three (including Orlen Lietuva, Achema and Telia Lietuva)," he told BNS.

The criteria for transactions due to be declared must be specific and clear so as not to impose an additional burden on businesses in getting clearance for various smaller deals, Sinkevicius said.

The committee chairman expects that there would be one or two such transactions per year. He confirmed that Achema, the country's single largest natural gas consumer, would have to declare, for example, a deal with Russia's gas giant Gazprom.

"No doubt such large deals would have (to be declared). These are key large-scale deals that may have an impact on our national security," he said.

The 15min news website reported on Monday that the top executives of Achema, Orlen Lietuva and Telia Lietuva had already called on the Seimas to halt the proposed amendment to the law.

"It follows that it will be up to the security (department) to decide how the company has to work and what deals to sign. And to pre-notify (the authorities) about what it plans to buy and from whom," it quoted Gintaras Balčiūnas, deputy chairman of the management board at Achemos Grupė (Achema Group), as saying.

Orlen Lietuva CEO Ireneusz Fafara told the website that "such regulatory measures violate the fundamental right to freedom of economic activity".

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