September 22, 2016 / 2:08 PM / 3 years ago

Lithuania renews fight for 1.4 bln euros compensation from Gazprom

VILNIUS, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Lithuania launched a fresh attempt on Thursday to win 1.4 billion euros ($1.57 billion) in damages from Russia’s Gazprom in a gas pricing dispute, asking a court based in Sweden to overturn an earlier ruling that went against it.

Lithuania says Gazprom failed to supply gas at a “just price”, as promised in a 2004 privatisation deal when it bought a 34 percent stake in the Baltic country’s gas utility Lietuvos Dujos and overcharged the country between 2004 and 2012.

Stockholm’s international arbitration court ruled in June that the term “just price” was too abstract to assess possible damages, a decision Lithuania is now seeking to overturn.

Gazprom told Reuters in June that it had not violated the contract to supply gas.

“We expect the new litigation to take about 12-18 months,” a spokesman for Lithuania’s Ministry of Energy said on Thursday.

Lithuania argues that its gas supply formula was changed several times after the privatisation, resulting in a dramatic rise in prices.

Gazprom sold its stakes in Lithuanian’s gas utility and gas transmission network in 2014 after being slapped with a 35.7 million euro anti-trust fine for restricting gas supply competition.

Lithuania ended Gazprom’s gas supply monopoly in late 2014 after opening a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility in Klaipeda port.

This year, Norway’s Statoil delivered a majority of gas consumed by the country. ($1 = 0.8891 euros) (Reporting By Andrius Sytas; Editing by Simon Johnson; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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