Author`s name Olga Savka

Lithuania To Get Rid of Yukos and Gazprom

Lithuanian conservative politician believes, the Russian capital jeopardizes the national economy

The Lithuanian opposition has had an unusual reaction to the arrest of Yukos's CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Andrjus Kubiljus, leader of the conservative opposition party, suggested the Lithuanian government should buy back Mazeikiu Nafta's stocks from Yukos and suspend negotiations with Gazprom regarding the sale of 34 percent of Lietuvos dujos's stocks.

The Lithuanian government owns 58.36 percent of Lietuvos dujos's stocks and 35.49 percent is owned by Ruhrgas and E.ON Energie. In September, the government of Lithuania agreed to sell 34 percent of Lietuvos dujos's stocks of Gazprom for 28.6 million euro. However, the terms of the contract are still being negotiated. In 2002, Lietuvos dujos's sales volume made up 116 million euros, the net profit made up 16.5 million.

Mazeiki Nafta consists of the Mazeiki refinery (the capacity of 12 million tons of raw material a year), the marine export terminal Butinge (eight million tons a year) and the Birzai arterial oil pipeline. The Lithuanian government owns 40.66 percent of the concern's stocks. In 2002, Yukos purchased 53.7 percent of Mazeikiu Nafta's stocks and hired American citizen Nelson English to govern the concern, RusEnergy reports.

"The Lithuanian authorities are supposed to realize the situation with Mazeikiu Nafta - they are not supposed to succumb to illusions and affirmations of success," former Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrjus Kubiljus said in a statement. "The government is supposed to be prepared for force-majeure, if the company Yukos is completely destroyed or divided," the politician said.

The Vedomosti newspaper wrote, the leader of the conservative party called upon the government of the state of stop negotiations with Gazprom about the sale of 34 percent of Lietuvos dujos stocks. Kubiljus said, the parliament and the government "must evaluate the scale of Lithuania's national security, if the Russian capital is actively implicated in the energetic industry of Lithuania."