VILNIUS, June 7 (RAPSI, Irina Pavlova) - The Supreme Court of Lithuania on Thursday postponed until June 18 the hearing of Gazprom's complaint against the decision of the Lithuanian Court of Appeals, which refused to honor the ruling of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce on the Russian energy giant's gas prices lawsuit.
The Stockholm court ruled last summer that the aspects of gas supply prices cannot be considered in a national court. The Lithuanian Court of Appeals decided on December 17 against honoring the Stockholm court's decision.
The Lithuanian court explained that applying the Stockholm court's decision would run contrary to public order in Lithuania and would be incompatible with the principle of the independence of the courts set out in the Lithuanian Constitution.
The previous Lithuanian government claimed that Gazprom agreed to supply natural gas to Lithuania at fair prices based on a price formula stipulated in a gas supply and privatization contract signed by gas utility Lietuvos Dujos and Gazprom in 2004. However, gas prices grew considerably from 2004 to 2012, as the calculations for the price were changed in violation of the privatization contract.
Gazprom is currently the only supplier of natural gas to Lithuania.
Gazprom's dominant position on the Russian gas market has often been the subject of criticism by potential competitors and customers. Earlier this year, President Vladimir Putin called for a "gradual end" to the company's monopoly on supply of liquid natural gas.
Gazprom is currently valued at less than $100 billion for the first time since 2009 over investor concerns about mismanagement at the gas monopoly, Bloomberg reported.