Prague/Brussels - The Czech Republic is prepared to block the granting of the EU candidate land´s status to Albania over a dispute between the CEZ Czech state-controlled power utility and the Albanian state, high-ranking EU sources told CTK today.
Last year, Albania stripped CEZ of a licence. The firm therefore sought an international arbitration with Tirana.
In early June, the European Commission (EC) recommended that Albania be given the status of a candidate land. An EU summit is to deal with it at the end of June.
According to CTK sources, Prague criticises the fact that the talks between Albania and CEZ in Vienna led nowhere. It sent a signal to Albania some time ago, indicating that this dispute might affect the approval of its candidate land status, which all 28 member states must approve.
In January 2013, the Albanian regulator revoked the local distributing company CEZ Shperndarje's licence. A state administrator was installed at the helm of the company as a result of which CEZ lost control over the distributor.
CEZ launched an international arbitration against Albania on the basis of an the Energy Charter Treaty, which both the Czech Republic and Albania ratified and which sets the rules of international investments protection in the energy industry.
CEZ demands damages for Albania's failure to protect its investment in CEZ Shperndarje.
The Czech government challenged the steps by Albanian authorities previously.