Last year Gazprom took several eye-opening measures to regain its position in the Baltics. Latvian newspaper Business & Baltics reported on June 4 that Gazprom has increased its share of gas deliveries to Estonia from 75% to 100%, to Lithuania from 78% to 92% and to Latvia from 74% to 84%. Candidate in the Board of Directors of Gazprom Vadim Kleiner said that the share of the company in the Baltics increased as a result of the ousting of the other major deliverer of natural gas Iteri.
However, a specialist for Business & Baltics said that the interest of Gazprom toward the Baltics, which consumes only 2.4% of all deliveries of Gazprom in the former republics of the USSR, is in the countries - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - entry into the European Union. This gives Gazprom great possibilities for trading natural gas on the European market. The newspaper says that from this point of view Latvia is especially attractive thanks to the presence of the Inchukalnsky underground gas-holder.
Gazprom is one of the strategic investors in the Latvian gas monopolist Latvijas gaze. Gazprom owns 25% of this company, but it recently announced buying another 9% of Itera Latvija after which time it gained a 34% share in Latvijas gaze and become its largest shareholder. Besides Gazprom and Itera Latvija, German Ruhrgas and E.ON.Energie are large investors.
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