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Gazprom Hiked Gas Prices for Lithuania for Critisism

Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom is hiking gas price for Lithuania

Russia?s gas monopoly Gazprom is hiking gas price for Lithuania from $105/ths cubic meters to $135/ths cubic meters July 1, 2006.

This decision of Gazprom has been taken after Lithuania's president critisized Gazprom's policy towards the Baltic countries, Poland and Ukraine, and denounced the construction of North European Pipeline, claiming that the Russian gas giant is eager to control all Europe.

Sharp criticism of the NEGP project is apparently one of today?s highlights for Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus.

"In Lithuania we are keeping watch so that their economic dependence on Russia wouldn?t turn into the political one", Adamkus said.

Meanwhile, Gazprom attributes Lithuania?s agitation to the surge in prices. The price for natural gas delivered there goes up from today?s $105/ths cubic meters to between $130/ths cubic meters and $135/cubic meters on July 1. The reason, Gazprom says, is that Lithuania pays less for gas than the neighboring Latvia and Estonia ($120/ths cubic meters).