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 Naftohaz says British court greenlights freeze of Gazprom's UK-based assets

Ukrainian state owned oil and gas company Naftohaz said on Tuesday a London court has granted its request to freeze the assets of Russia's Gazprom in the U.K. to enforce an earlier arbitration ruling from Sweden.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Reuters via 4-traders media outlet, that ruling, made by the Stockholm arbitration court in February, was meant to conclude a legal battle over gas deliveries.

However, Naftohaz says Gazprom has not complied with the ruling, which obliged the Russian company to resume gas supplies to Ukraine at market equivalent prices and pay $2.6 billion.

Naftogaz has said it would go to court to seize Gazprom assets in Europe, but would not touch Russian gas transit through Ukraine.

In April 2014, Gazprom increased the gas price for Naftohaz by over 80 percent within days following the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. Naftohaz challenged the ill-grounded price hike in the arbitration, and the tribunal decreased the payment for gas off-taken in 2014-2015 by approximately $1.8 billion. In addition, the tribunal rejected Gazprom’s take-or-pay claim as unconscionable, resulting in nearly $77 billion savings for Naftohaz until the expiry of the contract in 2019.

Naftogaz has moved to attach assets in other jurisdictions as well, including the shares of Gazprom’s subsidiaries Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG in Switzerland. The bailiffs are working on effecting the freeze after the Swiss court has granted the petition of Naftohaz.

Gazprom’s appeal against the Stockholm arbitration awards does not postpone the Russian company’s obligation to settle immediately and has no effect on the enforcement process, which was confirmed by the swift decisions of courts in various European jurisdictions in late May.

On Feb. 28, 2018, Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal ruled that Naftohaz be paid $4.63 billion. Following two arbitration proceedings, Gazprom owes $2.56 billion.

Later on, Gazprom reversed Naftohaz Ukrainy the advanced payment it received for gas supplies in March. "Evidently, there will be no gas supplies to Naftohaz Ukrainy starting from March 1," Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said.

CEO of the Russian gas giant Alexey Miller said March 2 that Gazprom had to immediately start the procedure for the termination of gas contracts with Naftohaz Ukrainy at the Stockholm Arbitration Institution.

The European Commission called on Ukraine and Russia to find immediate solutions in line with the decisions of the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3072303