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Russia uses its gas giant Gazprom as a foreign policy tool, while its monopoly right of selling energy resources allows setting gas prices which are fixed on political grounds rather than economic, a chief presidential adviser said on Tuesday.

“Today probably nobody has any doubt about strategic interests of Russia and that it uses its energy companies in politics,” Chief Presidential Adviser on National Security told the Ziniu Radijas in an interview.

According to him, the recent searches at Gazprom offices by the European Commission’s Competitiveness Council have proven Lithuania’s claims that Russia is using Gazprom as a tool to exert pressure and shape its policy through prices, which is worrying to many European countries, writes LETA/ELTA.

“It only confirms Lithuania’s statements that Gazprom is the tool that could be abused for such matters. In any case, a global; monopoly supplier is more closely observed and supervised. This right can always be abused and used to secure other benefits, not only the economic one,” Markevicius said.

As reported, a week ago, EC officials “undertook unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in the supply, transmission and storage of natural gas in several member states”. The Commission said it had suspicions that the companies concerned may have engaged in anticompetitive practices in breach of EU antitrust rules or that they are in possession of information relating to such practices.

The officials also searched the office of Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas), in which Russia’s Gazprom owns over 37%, on suspicion of EU antimonopoly law violations.