President of the Republic of Lithuania

Lithuania expects the European Commission to maintain a principled position in Gazprom investigation

2017-10-10

Tuesday, October 10, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager to discuss the strengthening of competition in the regional and European energy market.

The President underlined that she expected the Commission to maintain a principled stand with respect to large companies, like in the Gazprom case on abuse of dominance in 2004-2012 when Lithuania and other EU member states had to pay excessive gas prices.

The President urged the Commission to seek financial compensation to the countries, including Lithuania, affected by Gazprom’s monopoly and to ensure that gas prices should be based on fair competition and actual market conditions.

Dalia Grybauskaitė stressed that the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 contravened the Energy Union’s objectives and would further increase European dependence on Gazprom's supplies.

The President and the European Commissioner also discussed the synchronization of Baltic power grids with continental Europe. According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, competitive gas and electricity prices have a major impact on economic growth and welfare. Therefore, EU support for synchronization as well as for electricity and gas interconnections are very important to the region's successful development.

Among the other issues addressed at the meeting was the situation created by the dismantling of a railway stretch between Mažeikiai and Rengė. The European Commission fined Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) 28 million euros for a possible breach of EU competition rules when it dismantled this section of track nine years ago.

According to the President, this not only meant a huge financial burden, but could also seriously undermine Lithuania’s international image.

Views were exchanged about the dangers posed by the Astravyets nuclear power station under construction in the EU neighborhood. According to the President, this was Russia’s geopolitical project aimed at threatening the whole of Europe. The European Union needed to hold to a principled stance and supply the European market with eletricity generated only in compliance with all EU safety standards.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2017.10.10 10:33

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