VILNIUS – A Lithuanian court has decided not to consider yet the Energy Ministry's a new lawsuit worth over 240 million euros against French energy group Veolia and Icor, a Lithuanian business group owned by natural persons, and persons related to these companies for the compensation of damage done to Lithuania.
Vilnius regional Court said on Thursday it had not accepted the lawsuit as the arbitration procedure in Washington has not been competed yet.
The Energy Ministry said in July the lawsuit had been filed against companies belonging to the Veolia group, including Veolia Environnement, Veolia Energie International, Vilniaus Energija and Litesko, as well as the Icor group and persons related to these companies.
The lawsuit was filed with Vilnius Regional Court after almost all EU member states, including Lithuania and Estonia, signed an international agreement in May, demanding that investors and states withdraw their arbitration claims under bilateral investment protection agreements.
Lithuania is trying to prove that Veolia and Icor used illegal ways to secure lease contracts for heating business in a dozen of Lithuanian municipalities and illegally profited from heat consumers in 1999-2003.
Velia took Lithuania to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington, claiming that its investment in Lithuania was undermined by unfair treatment by the country's politicians and regulatory authorities and was initially seeking 118 million euros in damages but the claim was later reduced to 79 million euros.
Veolia has not withdrawn its claim from ICSID so far and the hearing of this case has been adjourned until the spring of 2021.