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Lithuanian antitrust body says recovering fine from Gazprom is difficult

Lithuanian antitrust body says recovering fine from Gazprom is difficult Lithuanian antitrust body says recovering fine from Gazprom is difficult


Vilnius, April 22 - Neftegaz.RU
. Lithuania has so far failed to find Gazprom's assets from which it could recover a 42-million-euro antitrust fine that was slapped on the Russian gas giant almost 5 years ago, the Baltic times reported.

Jolanta Ivanauskiene, a member of the Competition Council, said the authority is analyzing various legal means to recover the fine both in Lithuania and abroad.

"Since it is not possible to use the usual enforcement measures, such as recovery from the infringer's funds or real property, etc., the process is complicated and lengthy," she said. The council plans to turn to EU member states where Gazprom may hold assets, according to Ivanauskiene.

In June 2014, the competition authority ruled that Gazprom's refusal to negotiate with Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba (Lithuanian Energy Production), formerly Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), on gas exchange deal in 2013-2015 prevented the Lithuanian company from purchasing cheaper gas from another supplier and thus breached conditions tied to the regulator's 2004 approval of the Russian company's acquisition of a 34 % stake in the-then Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas).

It imposed a fine of almost 36 million euros, the largest antitrust fine ever in the country, on Gazprom. Another 6 million euros in interest accumulated during the maximum 180-day period, bringing to 42 million euros the total amount of money owed by the Russian company to Lithuania.

Bailiffs were tasked with enforcing the payment after the Russian company missed a deadline for paying the fine, but they failed to find any Gazprom assets in Lithuania.