Lithuania to negotiate Mazeikiu nafta stake sale with TNK-BP and other contenders - PM

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VILNIUS, October 18 (RIA Novosti, Vladimir Vodo) - Lithuania intends to hold negotiations with Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP and other contenders on the sale of a controlling stake in the Mazeikiu nafta oil company, the Lithuanian prime minister said Wednesday.

Algirdas Brazauskas said, "There are five or six companies that can participate in the talks, and we have no right to block their way to negotiations with Yukos. We only stated our position that talks will be held first of all with TNK-BP."

On October 20, the Lithuanian parliament will adopt a bill to allow the government to receive a $1 billion loan to buy the 53.7% stake in Mazeikiu nafta held by beleaguered Russian oil giant Yukos, with a view to reselling it, together with 30% of the government's 40.66% stake, to an investor selected by the government.

Previously, the Lithuanian prime minister had said LUKoil and TNK-BP, which had each expressed interest in paying $1 billion for the Yukos stake, had the highest chances.

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