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Russia lashes out at Lithuania gas industry reform

  • 2010-11-30
  • TBT Staff

The EC said that Lithuania would have to reform its gas sector in order to bring itself in line with the new energy directive.

VILNIUS - A European Comission directive that will force Lithuania to reform it's gas sector has drawn sharp criticism from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Russia had recently completed a major deal with the country in which Gazprom, Russia's state-run gas company, aquired Lithuanian distribution rights. According the the new directive, the "Third Energy Package", the deal will be tossed out.

“Our companies, together with German partners, legally acquired distribution assets in Lithuania,” Putin said at an economics forum in Berlin. “Now they are being thrown out there with reference to the Third Energy Package. What is this then? What is this robbery?”

Putin claimed that the EU was allowing politics to interfere with business deals and gas supply chains - an accusation that has long been hurled at Russia itself.

In a letter sent to the Lithuanian Government on 24 November, the EC said that Lithuania would have to comply with the new directive, as the country has not sought out an exemption.

Latvia and Estonia, along with Finland, have received exemptions from the new directive.