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    Lithuania Loses €1.4bn Against Gazprom


The latest ruling draws a line under an eight-year dispute.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Premium, Corporate, Litigation, News By Country, Lithuania

Lithuania Loses €1.4bn Against Gazprom

The Supreme Court of Sweden has rejected Lithuania's appeal against a 2016 arbitration ruling in favour of Russia's Gazprom concerning the pricing of gas supplies, the Lithuanian energy ministry confirmed on February 17, drawing a line under an eight-year legal dispute.

Lithuania took Gazprom to court in 2012, demanding €1.4bn ($1.5bn) in compensation from the company for allegedly overpricing its gas supplies since 2004. The Stockholm Arbitration Court concluded in mid-2016 that Gazprom was not at fault, however.

Vilnius then approached the Swedish Court of Appeal, but the court ruled in favour of the arbitration verdict in July 2019. Finally, it brought the case to the Supreme Court of Sweden, which in December decided not review the ruling of the appeals court, Lithuania's energy ministry told the Baltic News Service (BNS).

"The court did not provide reasons for its decision," the ministry said.

Gazprom confirmed the ruling in a prospectus for a Eurobonds issue shared with the Russian press.

Lithuania once relied on Gazprom for all its gas needs. But the Russian company was forced to cede control of gas transmission, distribution and retail operations in Lithuania under EU unbundling rules, and in 2014 Lithuania opened its 4bn m3/yr Klaipeda LNG terminal, allowing the country to diversify its supply.

Gazprom delivered 938mn m3 of gas to Lithuania in 2019, according to its own data, down 31.7% year on year.