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Reviews of the press
 
  Oleg Mikhailov: Why Medvedev surrender to Lithuania?

2013 04 16

Russia removes the issue of the implementation in Lithuania of the toughest version of the EU Third Energy Package, which involves the separation of the gas supplier from the owner of the gas transportation system. Does the long debate of "Gazprom" with Lithuania, where actions of Lithuania were succinctly described as robbery by Vladimir Putin, when he was still the Head of the Russian Government, end up in Russia's surrender?

After Lithuania, referring to Brussels, ripped off by force the transportation system from the "daughter" of "Gazprom" – the company ‘Lietuvos dujos’ in Lithuania. After "Gazprom" submitted claim to the international arbitration, and Lithuania faced a looming threat of huge fines. After Lithuania in its turn made a complaint against "Gazprom" to international arbitration, demanding compensation in billions of euros for allegedly overpaid gas. After a series of public insults, in which Russia and "Gazprom" were presented as a sort of a harrier strangling Lithuania. After all this, Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, all of a sudden, unexpectedly to Lithuanians themselves, gives full amnesty to Lithuania.

It seems that even the Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius, who met with his Russian counterpart on 5 April, was shocked. "I was very much surprised, when Mr. Medvedev started talking about energy and began to speak from the Third Energy Package, stating the fact that he is aware and is informed that Lithuania took the most radical solution, and recognized that this is the right of self-determination of Lithuania, and that he does not question the issue, which is no longer the subject of discussion,"- said Butkevičius stunned with the broad gesture of the Head of the Russian Government in a telephone interview to the Lithuanian agency BNS immediately after the meeting with Medvedev.

Why is Medvedev burying Russia's energy interests in this country? Now all experts of Lithuania are wrestling with this.

So what is the outcome then: a) Russia legitimized fragmentation of the property of "Gazprom" in Lithuania through the lips of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, b) it is difficult to imagine that after such amnesty "Gazprom" has got any chances in the dispute with Lithuania at international arbitration, but Lithuania has not cancelled its claim, whereas the weakening of the position has only added confidence in that Lithuania is right and shall continue to proceed this way c) Dmitry Medvedev has given birth to a transit bat and the myth of the vulnerability of the Kaliningrad region for Lithuania, and in the future we should expect for a greater use of the argument of the valve d) "Gazprom" may forget about the long-term contracts with Lithuania – it is obvious, they would not just want to sign them, but will also require for a discount on the price of gas. This is "the right of self-determination of Lithuania."

Or, it's all just on the surface, while Medvedev does have a certain cunning plan? Maybe it is simple enough? On 21 March the site of the Russian Government placed a stenograph of the interview of Medvedev with the European media, among which was a journalist of a Lithuanian publication. Touching the gas issue the head of the government, in response to a question, made an interesting anecdotal remark: "I do not consider myself an expert on gas production technologies, although for eight years I was the chairman of the board of directors of "Gazprom".

Material has been prepared by the Centre of Geopolitical Studies with reference to the article from “IA REGNUM” of 08 04 2013


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