Kirkilas wants to deal direct with Gazprom

  • 2007-09-25
  • By Mike Collier

VILNIUS 's With the threat of big price rises looming, Lithuanian prime minister Gediminas Kirkilas has spoken of the need to cut out the 'middle men' in the supply chain.

Speaking to LNK TV, Kirkilas revealed that Lithuania wants to buy at wholesale prices direct from Russian producer Gazprom, thereby bypassing the Lithuanian-Russian import company CJSC Dujotekana.

"The Lithuanian government will try to achieve that at talks with Gazprom," Kirkilas said.

"Dujotekana supplies gas to Lithuania at higher prices than Lietuvos dujos, which imports gas directly," he added.

If Lithuania has to pay Western European prices for gas now that a three-year moratorium is drawing to a close, it should make direct purchases from Gazprom, Kirkilas said.

"If we agree with Gazprom on deliveries of the roughly three billion cubic meters Lithuania needs annually, we won't need an intermediary. It would be desirable to do without its services."

However, with Gazprom holding a controlling interest in Dujotekana, cutting away its extra layer of profit may not prove easy.