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Gazprom Seeks $135M From Lithuania

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Gazprom wants about $135 million from Lithuania to compensate for losses that it says were caused by the country changing a deal on heating prices, a statement from a plant owned by Gazprom said.

Regional power plant Kauno Termofikacine Elektrine, owned by Gazprom, said on its web site that the firm wanted the compensation for losses allegedly incurred from 2003 through 2008.

It quoted a letter sent by Gazprom to Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius.

"It is estimated that the Russian gas consortium … lost 342.2 million litas ($134.6 million) due to the Lithuanian government changing the methodology of setting heating prices," the web site said.

"Therefore, Gazprom has proposed to reach an amicable settlement with Lithuania … for it to pay that sum as compensation for the loss suffered."

The letter said Gazprom would seek international arbitration if necessary.

The Lithuanian government said in a statement that it was a third party and that Gazprom's compensation claim arose from a dispute between KTE and Kauno Energija — a utility company owned by the Kaunas municipality.

Kauno Energija declined to comment on Gazprom's compensation claim. But it said Feb. 17 in a statement that there had been a commercial arbitration in a dispute over an investment protection treaty and that KTE should pay it 5.4 million litas.

Russia is the only supplier of gas to the ex-Soviet Baltic republic.

Gazprom is a major shareholder in the gas companies of all three Baltic states, along with German E.On Ruhrgas.

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