Y; Gazprom has no property in Ukraine that could be withdrawn to pay off a debt of $ 18 billion
The dispute between Naftogaz and Gazprom has been going on for three years already. In its verdict, the Stockholm Arbitration Court fully satisfied the claims of the defendant, Naftogaz. He allowed the Ukrainian company to re-export the natural gas purchased from Russia. The court also ordered the Russian side to recalculate the contract prices concluded since the beginning of 2014, taking into account the conditions prevailing in the European market. Thus, the take-or-pay rule, which implied an annual payment for the minimum amount of fuel, has been abolished. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called this an important step towards the country’s energy independence.
Experts believe that the court’s decision is a victory for Kiev and a defeat for Moscow.
“For Naftogaz, this is a complete victory. The final decision will appear at the end of the month. Then it will be said exactly how much Gazprom will have to pay to Naftogaz. This was a complete surprise for Gazprom. Naftogaz is worried that Gazprom will declare bankruptcy. The company was only worth $ 49 billion yesterday. It cannot be assumed that Ukraine will receive this money. We can assume that Ukraine will not have problems with claims from Russia ”, – Anders Aslund, an expert from the Atlantic Council, commented on the interim decision of the court..
Gazprom has no property in Ukraine that could be withdrawn to pay off the $ 18 billion debt, the expert adds. The Ukrainian government, he believes, can seek the arrest of Gazprom’s property in Western countries.
“It could be Nord Stream and other pipelines owned by Gazprom. The company has a lot of property in Germany. Naftogaz will do everything in its power to get the money, which will negatively affect Gazprom’s operations in Europe, ”added Anders Åslund.
This development of the situation may also affect the gas “games” that the Kremlin is actively playing in Europe, said Ilya Zaslavsky, an expert at the British Chatham House Institute..
“Gazprom” will stop building objects that are the most risky, and a massive campaign will begin: on the one hand, they will hire lawyers to protect property, and on the other hand, they will withdraw and hide property. In principle, this will be a very difficult decision for Gazprom: it has so much property, so much vulnerability in Europe that it will not be easy for them to hide so easily, “he said..
In September, it is planned to consider a claim of Naftogaz against Gazprom in the amount of $ 10 billion for underpaid services for the transportation of Russian gas.
Journalist. Graduated from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. He has worked on Channel 1 + 1 and Channel 5, on the Voice of America since 2014, and was one of two Voice of America correspondents covering the 2018 Russian presidential elections from Moscow. He pays attention to the topic of US-Ukrainian and US-Russian relations. Actively covered the case of Paul Manafort and Maria Butina.
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