Purchase of 4 bcm of gas by Naftogaz from Gazprom is mandatory for execution of Stockholm arbitration decision – Naftogaz CEO

 Purchase of 4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas in 2018 by national joint-stock company Naftogaz Ukrainy from Russia's Gazprom is the mandatory condition for the execution of the decision of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and today it is effective from the point of commerce, Naftogaz Ukrainy CEO Andriy Kobolev said on Channel 5 TV on Tuesday evening.

"The minimum amount that we are obliged to buy under a new contract is 4 bcm. The price is lower than the price [of gas] from Europe… The decision to buy [gas from Gazprom] is logical and mandatory," he said.

Kobolev said that the minimum annual purchase of gas under the contract with Gazprom reduced by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce from 41.6 bcm to 4 bcm would not exceed 50% of Ukraine's needs in imported gas in the nearest two years of the contract term.

He said that avoiding natural gas imports by Ukraine is possible only if domestic gas production is increased.

"That's why it is important to discuss not only a contract for imports of gas, but also the situation in gas production. Will state-owned and private companies invest? What is the situation with the license system? This is an important aspect, which in two years would allow us to say that the issue of gas imports is not on the agenda," he said.

Naftogaz CEO again criticized blocking the issue of new licenses to public joint-stock company Ukrgazvydobuvannia and withdrawal of three licenses from Naftogaz Ukrainy under a request of Poltava Regional Council, which hinders the group to boost production of Ukrainian gas in the projected pace seeking to stop importing gas.