Gazprom says offered zero option, but Kyiv wanted to keep its winnings and drop only litigation about future transit
Gazprom is offering Ukraine a zero option to settle litigation, Sergei Kuznets, head of the Russian gas giant's legal department, told a press conference.
Kuznets said Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller had suggested the zero option at trilateral consultations involving the European Commission back in January, but that Ukraine wanted to sit on its own winnings from the contract litigation and drop only lawsuits regarding future transit.
"As regards an amicable agreement and proposal to sign one, that proposal was made back in January 2019 during the trilateral consultations. Alexei Borisovich [Miller] made it and we are prepared to consider the zero option and begin talks with a clean slate. But Ukraine has said it wants to change the format of this potential amicable agreement. They say: let's leave the award made to us as it is, and drop our future claims and sign an amicable agreement on their basis," Kuznets said.
The future Naftogaz claims are evidently the suit filed in July 2018 seeking to review the tariff for gas transit via Ukraine with effect from March 18, 2018 and the suit to recover $11.58 billion also with effect from March 18, 2018 and until the existing transit contract expires.
"This reminds me of the Winnie the Pooh joke, where he says we have 10 oranges to share equally, and I've already eaten my eight," he said.
"So if there is a desire to discuss an amicable agreement on fair, equal terms, then we would of course be glad to discuss it. But so far the conditions for such a discussion have yet to emerge," he said.