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Lithuania Gas Decision Made

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Foreign shareholders of a Lithuanian natural gas company have agreed to split the utility into three separate units as part of a European Union directive to unbundle energy monopolies and introduce competition.

Gazprom, which owns 37 percent of Lietuvos Dujos, was initially opposed to the idea. But Lithuania's government gave shareholders until the end of May to comply with the EU directive. Germany's E.On owns a 38.9 percent interest.

Gazprom will likely keep a stake in the gas supplier and one distribution company. Control over a new, larger distribution company will go to the state. Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas on Monday said the decision paves the way for Lithuania to receive cheaper gas from a variety of sources. The Baltic state currently imports all of its gas from Russia.

(AP)

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