VILNIUS - Lithuanian Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas says that the government is not afraid of the ultimatum issued by Russian gas company Gazprom because the government holds a consistent position and always suggests solving issues by negotiation, reports ELTA.
“The ruling of the Stockholm arbitration is a very important and useful one for us. Once again it showed that the government does not try to respond to any Gazprom ultimatums and it is not afraid; instead it maintains a very consistent position offering to address all the questions in the negotiations. Lithuanian residents understand and support the government’s claim that we must have an alternative to natural gas supplied by Gazprom, and the ultimatums that the company makes do not give the outcome that perhaps Gazprom would have expected,” Sekmokas said in an interview with radio Ziniu Radijas in early August.
The minister pointed out that Gazprom simply does not want to admit defeat. He also noted that the first lawsuit filed by the Russian gas giant was dismissed without a hearing by the Stockholm arbitrage.
“The first lawsuit was rejected and the second claim was not approved. So far in this match Gazprom loses, 0:2,” said the Minister of Energy.
The Stockholm arbitrage court made a final confirmation of the Lithuanian government’s right to initiate an investigation of operational activities of Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas) and rejected all Gazprom’s claims for damages.
The court said that Gazprom by no means can ban the government from bringing issues related to the management of Lietuvos Dujos to court. Energy Minister Sekmokas says that such a decision by the Stockholm arbitration shows that the threats Gazprom was making against Lithuania at the international arbitration and its claimed loss of millions are completely invalid.
Lithuanian Deputy Speaker of the Seimas Algis Caplikas called the ruling of the Stockholm arbitration an interim, but not the final victory for the country. “This is a partial Lithuanian victory, but since we are dealing with such energy giants like Gazprom, I do not think everything will be settled so simply. Besides, we are not talking about 1 million litas (300,000 euros) or 2 million litas. We should rejoice at our interim victory, but it is not the final one,” said Caplikas in an interview to radio Ziniu radijas.