Gazprom has withdrawn its claim against Lithuania over the implementation of the European Union’s (EU) Third Energy Package.
Gazprom
© Reuters/Scanpix

As a result, the arbitration court had terminated the proceedings initiated by Russia’s gas concern, the Energy Ministry said on Thursday, adding that such an outcome had been expected since the onset of the dispute.

Gazprom initiated international arbitration proceedings under the UNCITRAL (United Nations’ Commission on International Trade Law) arbitration rules back in 2012 as it sought to put on hold or prevent reorganization of Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas), a Lithuanian natural gas utility then co-owned by the Russian gas giant.

Gazprom claimed that Lithuania breached its bilateral investment treaty with Russia by carrying out the unbundling of Lietuvos Dujos in line with the EU Third Energy Package.

“Lithuania has always said that Gazprom’s claims and discontent are unfounded and Gazprom’s investment has not been affected. Lithuania has reformed its gas sector in pursuit of a strategic goal to create a diversified and efficient common gas market, where consumers have a choice and monopolies cannot abuse their dominant position,” the ministry said in a press release.

Former Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovič said last September that Lithuania was very close to an official amicable deal with Gazprom on this claim.

The dispute lost any sense when Gazprom divested its shareholdings in Lietuvos Dujos and Amber Grid last June.

Reorganization of Lithuania’s gas sector was finalized late in October after the spin-off of Lietuvos Dujos’ supply operations, which were taken over by newly-established Lietuvos Dujų Tiekimas (Lithuanian Gas Supply).

The ministry added that the termination of those proceedings would have no effect on another dispute between Lithuania and Gazprom, i.e. on the 1.5-billion-euro claim, which Lithuania had filed in Stockholm against Gazprom for overcharging of gas supplies between 2004 and 2012.

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