Lithuanian PM refuses to say if country will join common gas market

  • 2019-06-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis met with his visiting Estonian counterpart Juri Ratas on Thursday and said he could not say yet if Lithuania would join a common gas market with other regional countries.

"There is no answer yet," he told journalists when asked if Lithuania would join a common gas tariff zone with Latvia, Estonia and Finland.

These countries signed an agreement on the introduction of a common gas tariff zone as of 2020, which is an important step to implement plans in time to create a common market by 2022.

Sources told BNS Lithuania that negotiations with Lithuania are stalling due to the country's demand to keep the money it receives from gas transit to the Russian region of Kaliningrad.

Skvernelis said he is seeking benefit for Lithuanian residents during the ongoing negotiations on Lithuania's participation in the common market, and wants to avoid putting additional burden on them, but did not mention the country's specific demands.

Asked if Lithuania's participation demands are acceptable, the Estonian prime minister said it was important to create a common gas market with all three Baltic states, without commenting on possibilities for all three countries to join the common gas market.

During the meeting, the Lithuanian and Estonian prime ministers also discussed common Baltic projects, including the synchronization of the Baltic power networks with that of continental Europe, the Rail Baltic railway project, as well as security and EU issues.