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    Legal Claims on Table in Transit Talks: Naftogaz


Awards by a Stockholm court last year are not up for discussion, but fresh claims lodged in November are "on the table," according to Naftogaz.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Legal Claims on Table in Transit Talks: Naftogaz

Ukraine’s Naftogaz has told NGW that some of its legal claims against Russia’s Gazprom are up for discussion in negotiations over terms for Russian gas transit starting next year.

The Stockholm arbitration tribunal last year ordered Gazprom to pay Naftogaz $2.56bn (plus interest) for violating their current gas transit agreement, due to expire on December 31 2019. This award is “non-negotiable,” a Naftogaz press officer told NGW, although the company would be willing to accept payment in gas supplies rather than cash.

However, the representative said that the $12bn in claims Naftogaz lodged against Gazprom in November for its refusal to accept market-based transit tariffs in 2018 and 2019 were “on the table.” They could be dropped if an acceptable new transit contract is struck, she said.

The spokeswoman also said that recent reports circulating in some Russian and western media outlets that a “preliminary agreement” had been reached during talks in Vienna on December 13 were false.

“The Russian side is more actively discussing the future gas relationship than they were a month ago,” she said. “But no form of agreement, even preliminary, has been reached. These reports are false.”

The representative also reiterated Naftogaz’s position that a new transit contract should be agreed between Gazprom and Ukraine’s newly formed independent gas grid operator, rather than the current deal being extended.