EC ready to discuss cheap gas

  • 2005-11-02
  • From wire reports
RIGA - The Economy Ministry said the European Commission was prepared to invite specialists for talks on possibly granting temporary permission to Latvia to import sub-standard fuel.
The ministry said that Latvian experts would have to prepare the necessary argumentation and documents for the negotiations and then prove the econoic necessity of its request.

The final date for the talks is being finalized, the ministry said.

Previously the government ordered the Economy Ministry to seek negotiations with the European Commission in order to receive the necessary permission to sell gasoline with a higher sulfur content than permitted by EU regulations. In this case, Latvia wants to sell Belarusian-produced gasoline and thus solve competition on the fuel market, where some 80 percent of gasoline consumed in Latvia comes from Lithuania's Mazeikiu Nafta refinery.

According to official data, in the first seven months of this year more than two-thirds, or 78 percent, of Latvia's gasoline was imported from Lithuania, while 74 percent of diesel fuel was shipped from Belarus.

At the beginning of September gasoline prices in Latvia reached a record-high of 0.709 lat (1.0 euro) per liter. Since then the price has declined.