Ukraine’s state-owned Naftogaz says a Swedish arbitration court will next year hear the appeal by Russia’s Gazprom against the Stockholm arbitration court’s net US$2.56 billion award in Naftogaz’s favour.
The firms’ 10-year gas supply and transit accord is due to have expired before the date of the hearing.
The Russian gas export giant has said it would only agree to a new contract for post-2019 transit after the Svea court ruled on its appeal against the arbitration decision. The issue will complicate talks on Russian gas transit via Ukraine, as Gazprom opens alternative pipelines under the Baltic and Black seas.
Naftogaz said it would continue its efforts to enforce the original decision.
The efforts require the identification of international assets directly owned by Gazprom along with applications to national courts for enforcement.
Among the assets of interest to Naftogaz are the shares of companies operating the two Nord Stream pipelines.
Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall are lending Gazprom US$950 million for construction of Nord Stream 2 and have extended the repayment period until 2035, wpolityce.pl reported.
The 1,200km Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is scheduled for completion this year, will supply around 55 billion cubic metres of gas a year to Germany.
“Naftogaz will make Gazprom comply with the transit award and pay us US$2.56 billion with nearly US$200 million in interest for the past year,” Naftogaz chief Yuriy Vitrenko told the media.
“We have already received gas worth US$2.1 billion. The rest is being collected through the enforcement procedure in several jurisdictions, namely in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the United States and, recently, in Luxembourg. In the near future, debt recovery is possible in other countries,” Naftogaz posted on Facebook.
Talks on new Ukrainian transit arrangements have been held sporadically over the previous year, with the next meetings due in May.
Gazprom has refused to make any commitments while the appeal against the Swedish ruling is ongoing.
Russian energy minister Alexander Novak was also tightlipped after the last round of trilateral talks with Ukraine and the European Commission in January.
“To hold concrete discussions on a contract, the court case between the companies needs to be resolved,” said Novak at the time.
The Stockholm arbitration court ruled in February last year that Gazprom should pay Naftogaz US$4.56 billion in damages for not transmitting the agreed amount of natural gas to Europe under the 2009 transit deal.
But Gazprom had an earlier US$2 billion win in the arbitration ruling on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine, meaning Naftogaz is owed a net $2.56 billion by Gazprom.
Ukraine’s land pipelines are soon due to be outflanked. Picture credit: YouTube