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Lithuania Says New Gazprom Offer Worth Studying Amid Court Fight

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom is offering new terms on gas supplies that are “worth considering,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said, suggesting talks with the Russian export monopoly on pricing have resumed.

Lithuania expects to get a written proposal from Gazprom specifying pricing, delivery volumes and contract length, Grybauskaite said today in an e-mailed statement. The Baltic nation shouldn’t commit to a long-term agreement with Gazprom because it will eventually be able to use a terminal for liquefied natural gas that’s under construction, she said.

Lithuania, which relies on Gazprom for all of its natural gas, is battling to cut prices it says are at least a quarter more than other European buyers pay. Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius, who discussed supplies in a meeting with Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller in Sochi on Feb. 7, said he expected an offer with “fair pricing” soon.

“The situation in which Gazprom sets a political price for Lithuania and the Lithuanian people overpay -- that can’t happen again,” Grybauskaite said.

The state is suing Gazprom in a Stockholm arbitration court for 5 billion litai ($2 billion), which Lithuania says it was overcharged.

The government may consider dropping the proceedings if the new terms offered outweigh the expected positive outcome from arbitration, Nerijus Udrenas, an adviser to Grybauskaite, said in a radio interview with Ziniu Radijas today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Milda Seputyte in Vilnius at mseputyte@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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