Lithuania now has more possibilities to import natural gas than it had before and in the future it will hold gas supply negotiations with Russia only on a commercial basis, Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis said after meeting with Russia's ambassador to Lithuania in Vilnius on Thursday.
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Moreover, Lithuania will continue to ensure reliable gas transit to Russia's Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, Masiulis said.

"I told (the ambassador) that Lithuania now has more possibilities to import gas than it had before. The (Klaipėda) LNG terminal can supply the needs not only of Lithuania, but also those of Latvia and Estonia. I also stressed that all negotiations with Gazprom or any other suppliers will be held only on a commercial basis," the minister told BNS after the meeting with Aleksandr Udaltsov.

"The issue of gas transit was also discussed. A transit agreement is to be signed this year. We say that the gas system is in a good technical condition, it is well-maintained and it ensures reliable deliveries to Kaliningrad," he said.

The minister reiterated that negotiations are already underway between Lithuania's natural gas transmission grid operator Amber Grid and Gazprom on transit gas shipments to the Russian exclave, but no details are being disclosed about these talks.

He said that talks on gas supplies for 2016 will also be held at the company level and that he, as the head of the government's negotiating team with Gazprom, is currently planning no meetings with other Russian officials or Gazprom's representatives.

Masiulis said that he voiced concern during the meeting over nuclear power plant projects in Kaliningrad and Astravyets, Belarus, and their compliance with the Espoo Convention.

The Astravyets nuclear power plant, which is being built close to Belarus' border with Lithuania, breaches the UN Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo), parties to the Convention confirmed last June.

The minister said that it was his first get-to-know meeting with the ambassador.

BNS
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