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Lithuania Eyes Deal With Gazprom to Cut Price

Lithuanian Energy Minister Yaroslav Neverovich said Tuesday that the Baltic country might reach an agreement with gas giant Gazprom to lower the price of gas this year, a news report said.

Neverovich told journalists that a specific result in the negotiations on gas prices was less important now than developing a mechanism for buying Russian gas at global market prices in the future. The minister called it a "political goal," Interfax reported.

He said, however, that he hoped an agreement with Lithuania's main supplier, Gazprom, could be reached this year without giving a more specific time frame, the report said.

Gazprom supplied 3.32 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Lithuania last year.

The new terminal for liquefied natural gas, which Lithuania wants to build in the port of Klaipeda by the end of 2014, will provide the country with an alternative to Gazprom's gas.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevichius said earlier that Vilnius would like to lower the price of imported gas by at least 20 percent.

Meanwhile, Gazprom is pushing for new talks involving broader issues.

The gas monopoly wants Lithuania not to introduce the EU's Third Energy Package and is pushing for a long-term supply contract in exchange for a gas price reduction.

The company also wants Lithuania to withdraw its suit against Gazprom in the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce seeking the 1.5 billion euros that Lithuania supposedly overpaid Gazprom for gas supplied under previous contracts.

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