VILNIUS – Amid efforts to obtain the 42-million-euro fine from the Russia's Gazprom, Lithuania is considering one option of deducting the money from the sums transferred to the Russian gas giant by Lithuanian companies, as the Russian concern has no assets in Lithuania.
A bailiff has already turned to companies in Lithuania buying Russian gas over the matter, 15min.lt news portal said.
However, arresting the money may be a difficult task, as Gazprom only supplies natural gas after receipt of payment.
The Lithuanian Competition Council, which has imposed the fine, authorized a bailiff to extract the sum, however, the first attempts ended in failure due to absence of any Gazprom property in Lithuania.
Bailiff Irena Beliacic has refused to comment on her actions.
Under the current practice, bailiffs arrest transferred money. Companies paying for Russian gas include Achema, as well as state-run Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas (Lithuanian Gas Supply, LDT). The bailiff has approached both companies, however, was told the companies had no money the bailiff could arrest.
The competition authority stated in June 2014 that Gazprom's refusal to negotiate with Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba (Lithuanian Energy Production, LEG) on a natural gas exchange deal in 2013-2015 prevented the Lithuanian company from purchasing cheaper gas from another supplier and thus breached conditions tied to the regulator's 2004 approval of the Russian company's acquisition of a 34 percent stake in the-then Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas).
Gazprom was imposed a record-high fine of 36 million euros plus nearly 6 million euros in interest, which puts the total debt to Lithuania at 42 million euros.