EC expects Gazprom to comply with Stockholm Arbitration ruling - Sefcovic
The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce has played an important role in relations between Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic has said.
"The European Commission only welcomes the Stockholm tribunal's decision on the gas supply and transit contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom. The European Commission expects that both sides will comply with this decision and that various provisions of this decision will help restart trade relations between Naftogaz and Gazprom," he said in Brussels on Wednesday, March 21, at a meeting of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.
"We are seriously concerned about the developments between Gazprom and Naftogaz immediately after the arbitration decision of February 28 and Gazprom's initiative to terminate both gas contracts for supply and transit. If any termination is as thought, we expect it to take place in an orderly manner, taking into account the rights and obligations of both sides and the impact on third parties, such as the countries of the European Union," Sefcovic said.
He said that it was in the interests of Gazprom and Naftogaz, as well as Russia and the European Union, to respect the Stockholm Arbitration decision. He stressed the need to avoid escalation and make sure that Gazprom complies with the provisions of this decision, including the payment of $2.6 billion to Naftogaz, and that Gazprom continues energy supply.
Sefcovic expressed hope that any measures taken by various authorities would not affect transit gas.
"This would be completely counterproductive and would prevent any solution to the current situation, and both sides promised me that this would not happen," he said.
He said that the European Commission, of course, was ready to play its role in the negotiations.
He recalled that on March 1, Ukraine triggered an early warning mechanism under the Association Agreement after the gas ordered by Naftogaz was not delivered.
"This was the first time that this mechanism was triggered, and the commission immediately reacted. I had bilateral talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister [Volodymyr] Groysman, Naftogaz CEO [Andriy] Kobolev and with Russian Energy Minister [Alexander] Novak," Sefcovic said.
He noted that there were also technical consultations and that the European Commission had also triggered all relevant mechanisms.