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MPs ensure monopoly in Latvian gas market remains

Juris Ozolins. Photo: LETA.
 RIGA, Feb 27 - The Saeima Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee, which yesterday agreed to postpone gas market liberalization, has ensured Latvian consumer that the monopoly in the gas market in Latvia remains, energy expert Juris Ozolins told the business information portal ''Nozare.lv''.

He emphasized that liberalization is always an idea at the beginning, then it is put on paper and implemented. ''However, now our MPs have basically said that this idea on gas market liberalization in nonsense,'' the expert pointed out.

He said that Latvia's only gas supplier at the moment is Russia's ''Gazprom'', and that the company's monopoly in the Latvian market remains safe because of this decision.
Ozolins pointed out that essence of liberalization is for consumers to themselves be able to choose their supplier. ''In order for these consumers to have a choice, other suppliers must have the opportunity to enter the market,'' Ozolins said.

The expert also said that the discussions surrounding gas market liberalization look like an organized campaign to achieve confusion in Latvia.

As reported, yesterday, a majority of the Saeima Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee agreed to move forward with amendments to the Energy Law, postponing gas market liberalization until Latvia has effective gas connections with third countries other than Estonia, Lithuania and Finland, the chairman of the committee Vjaceslavs Dombrovskis (Reform Party) told members of the press after the committee meeting.

Dombrovskis explained that the EU's so-called Third Package of energy market liberalization laws will be postponed in Latvia.

The committee decided to put the amendments up for a Saeima vote.

''Only Reform Party members abstained from today's committee vote,'' Dombrovskis said.

If Saeima supports the amendments, gas liberalization in Latvia could be postponed until, for example, a gas pipeline connection with Poland via Lithuania is constructed, which could most likely by 2018, Dombrovskis said.
leta.lv
28-02-2013
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