The speed and the outcome of Lithuania’s talks with Gazprom will depend on future negotiations between Russia’s gas monopoly and the European Commission on the anti-trust case, the business daily ‘Verslo žinios’ reports on Monday citing sources.
Lithuania’s officials, who are well informed about the situation in talks with Gazprom, seem to agree with this. The officials in particular referred to early autumn of 2013 and the active efforts by Gazprom to agree “by 1 October or 10 October, which was a seemingly important date for them”.
However, the activity of Gazprom’s negotiators waned as Lithuania did not seem willing to make any concessions. Everything calmed down by the end of the year and now it seems that Lithuania’s talks on the supply of gas with Gazprom were at most continuing in parallel to the European Commission’s anti-trust investigation, which was approaching its end, the daily explained.
Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has recently admitted that negotiations with Gazprom are moving slower than expected.
Thus, on 3 January 2014, he said in an interview to the daily ‘Kauno Diena’: “We had received no response from Gazprom to certain proposals of ours for some two months. We thought that all was lost, but things have started moving now, although at a slow pace.”
Butkevičius said last Friday that he had hoped to reach an agreement with Gazprom faster.
“We expected that perhaps we would be able to reach an agreement with Gazprom. We discussed with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev the possibility of reaching an agreement by the summer and obtaining a fair gas price for Lithuania,” he said.