Lithuania continues litigation in the International Investment Arbitration in Washington against the French concern Veolia. It seeks to annul the decision of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) in the dispute with Russia's gas giant Gazprom. Lithuania has allocated another €3.9 million to pay for the services of lawyers representing Lithuania, reports obzor.lt news outlet.
The Lithuanian government decided to allocate this amount to the Lithuanian Energy Ministry from the government funds. According to the Ministry, the money is needed to repay the debt for 2018 and pay for lawyers' services provided this year.
A year ago, the Lithuanian government allocated €3.2 million for the costs of lawyers, and €2.3 million in the autumn of 2017. Last year it was reported that the debt will grow until the end of 2018, and in 2018-2020 lawyers may need an additional €7.5 million. American Shearman & Sterling, which is one of the world's largest law firms, represents Lithuania in court.
Veolia claims that its investments suffered because of the dishonest behavior of Lithuanian politicians and regulatory agencies, and it has claimed €118 million in damages. In turn, Lithuanian officials accuse Veolia representatives of illegal manipulation of electricity prices and filed a claim against the concern for about € 200 million.
Having considered the four-year dispute between the Lithuanian government and Gazprom, the SCC declared in June 2016 that it did not see the fault of the Russian company, but admitted that by supplying gas to Lithuania and owning shares in Lithuanian gas company Lietuvos dujos, Gazprom had provoked a "conflict of interest." According to the decision of the SCC, Lithuania was not entitled to received the "overpayment amount’'” that had allegedly been paid to Gazprom for gas supplies in 2004-2012.
In July this year, the Swedish courts of appeal did not overturn the decision of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania’s case against Gazprom.