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VILNIUS, September 26 (Itar-Tass) - Lithuania has already responded to a new gas supply contract proposal from Russia's state giant Gazprom, Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said in an interview with the Lithuanian radio Ziniu Radijas on Thursday.
“We have sent our response to Gazprom regarding the proposed contract and are waiting for its reaction,” Butkevicius said. In his opinion, it could be either an answer in written form or an expert-level dialogue. “We would like the issue to be clarified as soon as possible,” Butkevicius stressed.
The Lithuanian government's goal at the talks with Russia’s Gazprom is to achieve fair prices of the gas the company sells to Lithuania, Butkevicius said. The contents of Lithuania's message to Gazprom, the country’s sole gas provider, have not been disclosed yet.
Originally Gazprom told Lithuania it should withdraw its five-billion litas (EUR 1.5 billion) claim filed with Stockholm court of arbitration, if it wants to receive gas at a discount. Lithuania argues that it overpaid the five billion litas for Russian natural gas it imported during the past eight years.
The current contract between Vilnius and Gazprom ends in 2014. Lithuania is trying now to ease its dependence on Russia and building its own liquefied natural-gas terminal on the Baltic Sea coast, hoping it will thereby gain a firmer foothold at negotiations with Gazprom and eventually get the discount it wants. Lithuania buys Russian gas for 500 dollars per one thousand cubic meters. The price is one of the highest in Europe.