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Lithuania Tells EU of Gazprom Abuse

Lithuania has asked the European Commission to investigate possible market abuse in the Baltic nation by Gazprom.

The commission, the 27-nation European Union’s executive branch, should impose on Gazprom a requirement to supply gas under “transparent, reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions,” the Vilnius-based Energy Ministry said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement.

The complaint follows Gazprom comments last month that Lithuania, unlike neighboring Latvia and Estonia, won’t receive gas-price cuts this year because the country plans to begin unbundling ownership of its gas industry. Lithuania pays about $100 more than Germany for 1,000 cubic meters of Russian natural gas, the government has previously said.

“Lithuania is being punished for seeking to increase competition and to create a European gas market,” Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas said Tuesday. Gazprom seeks to eliminate potential competition and to disturb creation of a single European gas market, he said.

The Lithuanian government decided on May 19 to split gas sales and transmission ownership of the country’s gas utility Lietuvos Dujos, spurring criticism from majority owners Gazprom and E.On AG. The initiative is part of the EU’s drive to force dominant energy companies to give competitors access to transmission networks, according to the government.

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