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    Gazprom's Austrian business files for insolvency over Uniper dispute


German utility said it suffered billions of euros in damages.

by: Reuters

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Gazprom's Austrian business files for insolvency over Uniper dispute

Vienne, April 14 (Reuters) - Russian gas group Gazprom's Austrian business has filed for insolvency and hopes to restructure, a lawyer for the company said on Friday, blaming a halt to Russian gas deliveries that he said resulted from a dispute with Germany's Uniper.

The German utility said in November it had launched an arbitration process in pursuit of billions of euros in compensation from Gazprom for undelivered gas, which brought the gas trader to the brink of collapse last year.


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Gazprom's export arm denied at the time that it was in breach of contract regarding gas supplies to Uniper and said it did not accept the legality of the company's claims.

"Gazprom Austria GmbH felt compelled to file for insolvency at the Vienna Commercial Court following the cessation of natural gas deliveries by Gazprom Export Ltd., St Petersburg," lawyer Georg Unger said in a statement, adding that deliveries were halted because of a dispute with Uniper.

"Gazprom Austria GmbH is endeavouring to bring about a settlement with all parties involved as part of a restructuring process," the statement added.

In response, Uniper said it had suffered billions of euros in damages as a result of Gazprom not fulfilling its contractual obligations, and that it was therefore taking legal action against the Russian group.

Uniper said the legal action included claims against Gazprom Export LLC, which were issued as part of injunction proceedings that Uniper applied and that it can enforce within European laws.

"Please understand, however, that we do not provide any information on the individual measures in this context," the company, which was nationalised last year, said.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy and Christoph Steitz; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Jane Merriman)