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Gasprom remains adamant in Lietuvos dujos affair

Attempts of the Lithuanian government to privatize Lietuvus dujos, the national gas company, seem to have come to a deadlock. Negotiations on selling the company's 34-percent share to Gazprom, having lasted for several months, have not changed the positions of the parties.

Lithuanian Deputy Economy Minister Anicetas Ignotas said the Russian gas giant, the only candidate to apply for the Lietuvus dujos shares, had introduced its proposal on April 11. There have been virtually no changes in the terms suggested. The Lithuanian government insists on the sum of LIT 116m (EUR 33m), whereas Gazprom is ready to pay only LIT 80m (EUR 26m).

Moreover, Gazprom refuses to make any serious changes as to the terms of gas supply through Dujotekana, a Gazprom subsidiary, in favor of Lietuvos dujos. The Russian giant insists, among other things, on the abolishment of the state regulation of gas prices. Meanwhile, Lithuanian Economy Minister Petras Cesna announced that if Gasprom did not change its position, the Government would cancel the competition altogether. According to Ignotas the official position of the government will be posted before the end of the week, the Vremya Novostey newspaper reported.

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