27 Jun 2019 12:05

Naftogaz obtains ban on dividend payments to Gazprom from some of its frozen assets

KYIV. June 27 (Interfax) - Ukraine's Naftogaz has secured a ban on dividend payments to Russia's Gazprom from some of its frozen assets, Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev said.

"We have managed to show Gazprom that it not only cannot dispose of its [frozen] assets, but also cannot receive dividends from them," he told reporters in Kyiv on Wednesday.

"For example, in one of the jurisdictions, the court that froze the assets when Gazprom tried to receive dividends said that dividends can be distributed, your other partners can receive them, and you, please, put dividends here on the account and we will hold them until the moment when we decide what to do with them," the head of Naftogaz said.

According to the decision of the Stockholm arbitration of February 28, 2018, Naftogaz claims against Gazprom over violation of contract obligations regarding Russian gas transit via Ukraine have been satisfied. The court made a decision on payment of compensation for underutilization of the pipeline, but Gazprom has declined to comply with the Stockholm arbitration ruling.

The arbitration panel ruled that Gazprom must pay Naftogaz $4.63 billion for non-delivery of agreed volumes of gas for transit. Since the court earlier confirmed the Ukrainian side's $2.018 billion debt for gas shipments, on the basis of the two arbitration decisions, Gazprom owes Naftogaz $2.56 billion.

Naftogaz is trying to collect the debt from Gazprom in international courts, and the company is campaigning for the freeze of Gazprom's assets in Switzerland, the U.K., the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

In addition, in December 2018, the U.S. Federal Court in New York allowed Naftogaz Ukrainy to obtain information from GLAS Americas, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas and Bank of New York to disclose information about Gazprom assets in Europe.