6 Jul 2023 14:05

Gazprom threatens Ukraine for second time with sanctions, severance of any cooperation in arbitration proceedings

ST. PETERSBURG. July 6 (Interfax) - Ongoing attempts by Naftogaz of Ukraine to conduct arbitration proceedings with Gazprom are fraught with the imposition of sanctions by Russia, Gazprom CEO and executive board chairman Alexei Miller told reporters on Thursday in St. Petersburg.

Miller noted that Naftogaz has already filed a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Russia in the United States courts.

"If Naftogaz's unscrupulous actions continue, one cannot rule out that this could result in Russia imposing sanctions. Any relations between Russian companies and Naftogaz would then simply be impossible," Miller said.

Miller noted that Naftogaz itself, under unsubstantiated pretexts, was contravening contractual obligations to Gazprom. For example, Naftogaz refuses to accept Russian gas at the Sokhranovka entry point, though still demands payment for its transit.

"Gazprom has repeatedly said that amid the sanctions imposed against Russia, as well as the wave of Russophobia that has arisen in Europe, the company has actually lost its fundamental right to protection. Is it possible to count on a fair and impartial consideration of the dispute in Switzerland, which has joined the sanctions against Russia? Can the law of Sweden, which aspires to join NATO, be neutral? These are rhetorical questions. Amid these circumstances, Gazprom believes that the arbitration proceedings are illegitimate and participation in the process is pointless. Naftogaz's unsubstantiated attempts to continue the proceedings attest to its unconstructive attitude toward organizing the transit of Russian gas to Europe and, in general, to the hostile attitude toward Russia," Miller stressed.

As reported, Gazprom in September 2022 had already stated that it categorically rejects all the claims by Naftogaz of Ukraine on the initiated proceedings regarding the transit of Russian gas to Europe. Services not rendered on the Ukrainian side should not and would not be paid, Gazprom emphasized.

Gazprom at the time also said that it considered the filing of Naftogaz's appeal with the court as an unfriendly step and a continuation of the Ukrainian company's unscrupulous behavior. "Further attempts by Naftogaz of Ukraine to seek consideration of the dispute in the IAC could lead to the fact that the Russian authorities would have every reason to impose a sanctions regime on Naftogaz of Ukraine and include persons in the sanctions list. In practice, this could mean a ban on Gazprom from fulfilling obligations to sanctioned persons under completed transactions, including financial transactions," the Russian concern said in a previous statement on the matter.