Ukraine welcomes Stockholm court ruling on gas transit dispute with Russian Federation

Lucy Bush
March 4, 2018

The volume to be transited from Russian Federation to Europe via Ukraine "covers a significant share of European gas demand", Naftogaz said, adding it expects the transit to continue as before.

The court didn't uphold Gazprom's claim against Naftogaz, amounting to $7 million, for illegally siphoning off gas that was going through Ukraine on transit to Western Europe, says Kommersant.

It did not give further details. "It is important for the Ukrainian people and the future of European gas markets", Andrey Kobolev, chairman of Naftogaz, told reporters.

It was already the evening of February 28 the when the Stockholm arbitration court (The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce) announced its decision on the second dispute of Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom on the gas transit contract.

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On Thursday, Gazprom said it had returned a prepayment to Ukraine and would not restart gas supplies as an additional agreement to the existing arrangements had not yet been reached.

According to the Ukrainian contract Gazprom is supposed to supply 40bcm of gas in 2009, and starting from 2010, 52bcm annually, not the 5bcm figure decided by the arbitration tribunal.

However, the Stockholm arbitration court ruling is being opposed by the Gazprom.

"The arbitrators explained their decision with the sharp deterioration in the state of the Ukrainian economy". Since that date, it has been buying gas from Western Europe in order to reduce its energy dependency on Russian Federation, according to Reuters.

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Due to an emergency gas shortage, Ukraine's power plants must now use oil instead of gas.

However, following the settelement of residual payments for gas delivered in 2014 and 2015, Gazprom will have to pay $2.56bn in damages to Naftogaz.

Ukraine's state-owned gas pipeline operator Ukrtransgaz, however, said it had to take extra measures to ensure gas transit to its European customers. At the same time, Gazprom said that the arbitration court rejected Naftogaz' demands to increase the tariff for gas transit and change the contract in accordance with Ukrainian legislation. The Stockholm court ruled that Gazprom should pay only $4.7bn to Naftogas. "We expect that they will pay this $2.56bn soon", Kobolyev said, adding that the company prefers to receive the sum in cash.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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