Naftogaz ready to accept gas from Gazprom instead of money to pay in Stockholm arbitration – Naftogaz top manager
NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy is ready to consider a possibility of receiving natural gas from Russia's Gazprom instead of money to pay the debt of around $3 billion under awards of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Naftogaz Executive Officer Yuriy Vitrenko has said.
"We are satisfied with the money, but if Gazprom wants to pay this debt through gas supplies, we are ready to consider such an offer," he wrote on his Facebook page.
As reported, as a result of two disputes between Naftogaz and Gazprom over gas supplies and gas transit, in February 2018 the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce ordered Gazprom to pay Naftogaz $2.56 billion. Gazprom filed an appeal to this ruling in the Svea Court of Appeal in Sweden.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian company is trying to collect the funds in various jurisdictions and is pursuing a campaign in international courts to freeze Gazprom assets in Switzerland, the UK, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Naftogaz has already managed to freeze Gazprom's 51% of Nord Stream AG in the UK and 50% plus one share in Blue Stream Pipeline Company B.V. in the Netherlands. In addition, debt obligations to Gazprom totaling about $2.5 billion have been frozen in the Netherlands.
Naftogaz expects to complete the process of collecting about $3 billion from Gazprom, including the awarded claim plus interest, by the end of 2020.
On November 18, 2019, Gazprom sent an official proposal to Naftogaz Ukrainy to extend the current contract or sign a new one on the transit of natural gas through Ukraine for the period of one year, taking into account projected demand of European buyers on gas in 2020.
In the proposal, Gazprom indicates that a necessary condition for extension of the existing contract or concluding a new one must be a waiver by both sides of all mutual claims in international arbitration and a cessation of all legal disputes, the company's press service said.
Furthermore, other terms listed are: the reversal of a decision by Ukraine's Antimonopoly Committee to levy a fine against Gazprom for allegedly misusing its monopoly position in the Ukrainian gas transit market and a withdrawal of a request by Naftogaz for an investigation by the European Commission of the Russian company.