TIRANA, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Albania’s dispute with CEZ , whose distribution unit was stripped of its licence in the Balkan country, is a commercial spat caused by the Czech energy group and should not damage diplomatic relations, a government official said.
Albania’s power regulator revoked the distribution licence of CEZ Shperndarje on Jan. 21, holding the Czech company liable for damages for importing insufficient electricity and not investing in the power grid.
After the move, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said revoking the license was a “very negative” signal for relations with Albania, which is striving to join the Czech Republic in the European Union.
Albanian Deputy Prime Minister Edmond Haxhinasto met with the Czech ambassador on Thursday, his office said, and stressed that “very good” relations between the countries should be separated from the problems of the commercial dispute.
“Every call to mix these two problems is damaging and does not help anybody,” he said in a statement.
Necas had said the CEZ affair raised questions over Albania’s commitment to joining the EU.
In the meeting with the Czech ambassador, Haxhinasto said the Albanian market was capable of attracting foreign investors, and the dispute with CEZ was because the company did not live up to its agreements with the state and the law.
CEZ acquired 76 percent of the distributor in 2009, with the state holding onto the remaining stake. (Reporting by Benet Koleka; Writing by Jason Hovet; Editing by Mark Potter)