Naftogaz wants to recover $3 bln from Gazprom at the end of 2020 – Vitrenko
NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy expects to complete the process to recover $3 billion from Russia's Gazprom at the end of 2020, Naftogaz's Executive Director Yuriy Vitrenko has said.
"My forecast: by the end of 2020, we will recover the entire amount, that is, about $3 billion [$2.6 billion plus interest]. We will begin recovery in the middle of 2020 and finish by the end of 2020," he said in an interview with the Ekonomichna Pravda ezine.
Vitrenko recalled that Naftogaz had managed to have Gazprom's assets seized in the UK and the Netherlands, as well as restrictive measures introduced in Luxembourg and Switzerland, since those countries did not have assets of the Russian company that could be frozen.
According to him, Naftogaz is currently seeking separate court decisions to obtain permits for the sale of the assets that have been seized.
"In England, the legislation is structured so that if the frozen assets are commensurate with the amount of the debt, then the courts are waiting for the appeal court's ruling. In Holland, the assets can be sold before the appeal is considered, but there Gazprom used every trick in the book: it stated that they had not received notification of the start of the process. As a result, the process dragged on, hearings on it will only be in December," Vitrenko explained.
He also said that the total valuation of the frozen assets even exceeds $3 billion.
As reported, the Stockholm arbitration ordered Gazprom to pay Naftogaz $4.63 billion for the short supply of natural gas for transit. Given that the court previously confirmed the Ukrainian side's debt for gas deliveries estimated at $2.018 billion, according to the results of two arbitration disputes for the supply and transit, Gazprom should pay Naftogaz $2.56 billion. Gazprom appealed against the awards, but the Ukrainian side does not want to wait for appeal courts' rulings and has launched a hunt for Gazprom's assets in foreign jurisdictions.
Due to the unwillingness to comply with the arbitration awards, Gazprom's debt owed to Naftogaz is increasing by almost $200 million per year in the form of accrued interest.