Gazprom seeks to halt Ukraine gas contracts as dispute escalates

Sergei Savostyanov  TASS

On Wednesday, Naftogaz announced the final ruling of the Stockholm arbitration court in the case against Gazprom over the latter's failure to supply agreed volumes of gas for transit.

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. We expect that Gazprom will supply gas via a transit pipeline in Ukraine according to the decision of the Stockholm arbitration.

Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Thursday it would defend its rights after an worldwide arbitration court found in favour of Ukrainian energy firm Naftogaz in the final stage of a long-running legal battle.

Russian gas giant Gazprom said Friday it had asked a court to terminate its gas supply and transit contracts with Ukraine after being ordered to pay $2.56 billion to Kiev, in a dispute which the European Union said could threaten gas flows to Europe. "This will improve security of supply and give Ukrainians affordable energy".

Gazprom confirmed the ruling and registered its disagreement with the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported. The arbitrators ground their decision by the fact that the situation with the Ukrainian economy has drastically worsened. Since November 2015, Kiev has not bought Russian gas, replacing it with reverse gas from Europe.

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Gazprom and Naftogaz signed the current contract for the supply of gas to Ukraine in January 2009 and it is valid until December 31, 2019.

The court also ruled that part of the price Naftogaz was supposed to pay would be reduced.

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

Gazprom demanded that Naftogaz should pay arrears for gas that had been supplied earlier. The Stockholm court ruled that Gazprom should pay only $4.7bn to Naftogas. It also sought the revision of tariffs and conditions for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. Summing the two awards, Gazprom has been left with a bill of $2.56bn.