29 May 2018 16:15

Naftogaz rejects Gazprom's latest claim against arbitration ruling

KYIV. May 29 (Interfax) - A top official at Naftogaz Ukrainy dismissed a new claim from Russia's Gazprom that the Stockholm arbitration ruling ordering the gas giant to pay $4.7 billion to Naftogaz should be canceled because of alleged outside interference.

"I was asked to comment on the news about Gazprom and arbitration. For doing this, first the linguistic examination of the fact that a news agency that spread the news wrote it should be made. Then the linguistic examination of the Gazprom's statement should be made, if Gazprom really wrote it. Then I can comment on these ramblings," Naftogaz Chief Commercial Officer Yuriy Vitrenko wrote on his Facebook page.

It was reported on May 28 that Gazprom filed in Sweden's Svea Court of Appeals a declaration on full cancellation of the Stockholm arbitration ruling in the dispute with Naftogaz Ukrainy over their gas transit contract.

"Additional study of the text of the ruling by internationally acknowledged linguistic experts show that a significant portion of the text of the arbitration ruling was not written by the arbiters but by some other person. Clearly, no one has the right to replace the arbiters. The direct pronouncement of the ruling by the arbiters has extraordinarily great import for the parties to the dispute, and interference by outside persons in the process of rendering the decision is a blatant violation of the arbitration agreement," Gazprom said.

"The linguistic expert's conclusion concerning the authorship of the arbitration ruling on transit is fresh proof of serious violations of Swedish law and the arbitration rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in examining this case, which gives grounds for its complete cancellation," it said.

In late February 2018, Stockholm arbitration ruled in favor of Naftogaz Ukrainy in its dispute with Gazprom over violations of contractual obligations on Russian gas transit through Ukraine, ordering Gazprom to pay compensation for the transit volume shortfall. Gazprom has not complied with that ruling.

Gazprom is obligated to pay $4.63 billion under the ruling. When combined with another arbitration ruling concerning their gas supply contract, Gazprom is obligated to pay Naftogaz $2.56 billion in all.

In connection with Gazprom's failure to comply with the Stockholm arbitration rulings, Naftogaz is preparing for enforced recovery of the award from the Russian gas giant.