The European Commission's decision not to fine Russian gas giant Gazprom over its activity in Central and Eastern Europe would be strange, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says.
© Reuters/Scanpix

"Now the significance of long-term contracts (on gas supplies – BNS) is completely gone as we use other ways and have alternatives, so that position and certain compensation and not fining it, if such a decision is made, it will be strange, but we need to look into the motives," the prime minister told journalists on Thursday.

The EC is set to announce its decision on Gazprom later on Thursday, following a six-year probe. According to Reuters, citing unidentified sources, Brussels will probably accept Gazprom's proposed concessions, and this way the gas giant will avoid a fine of up to 10 percent of its global turnover.

The Lithuanian prime minister also reminded that during a meeting with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager over the almost 28 million euro fine for Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) he expressed hope the Commission would stay principled in other cases.

"During the meeting with European Commissioner Vestager, the government expressed its position when we spoke about our fine that there can be no selective judgment taking into account a company's size, and we stated very clearly that we hope the same decisions in similar cases," Skvernelis said.

Former Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, who led the Lithuanian government when the country initiated the dispute with Gazprom, says the Commission should have fined the Russian company, but, he added, the probe was beneficial for Lithuania in any case.

"In our opinion, with such violations, Gazprom should have been slammed with a fine similar to that issued, for example, to Google or Apple, when the fine can reach 10 percent of their annual revenue," Kubilius told journalists at the parliament on Thursday.

"Now, as far as I understand, due to various circumstances, including geopolitical and Nord Stream-ish, the Commission is renouncing such fines. Nevertheless, it at least made Gazprom change itself, change its activity, compared to what it was before the probe," the former prime minister said.

At Lithuania's initiative, the EC launched a probe in 2011 into Gazprom's activity in eights countries. In April, 2015, the EC said the Russian gas giant might have set unfair gas prices and abused its dominant position. It was said then the Russian company might face a fine of up to 8 billion euros.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lietuvos Energija is Acquiring a Wind Farm Development Project in Poland

Lietuvos Energija , a group of energy companies, further pursues the international strategy provided...

Latvenergo starts selling natural gas in Lithuania

Latvia's state energy company Latvenergo has started offering natural gas to its customers in...

Brussels preparing for talks with Russia on Baltic power systems

The European Commission is getting ready to start consultations with Russia over the switching of...

The biggest Lithuanian energy company expands in Poland

The Lithuanian state capital energy company group Lietuvos Energija moves forward with...

Eesti Gaas places order for the first LNG bunker vessel for North-East Baltic Sea

The leading Estonian energy company Eesti Gaas has placed an order for an LNG (liquefied natural gas)...