Ukraine Complains to Russia over Crimea Assets Seizure
State-owned Naftogaz Ukrainy has formally notified the Russian Federation about a dispute arising under a bilateral agreement to defend each other’s country's investments.
The dispute arose from the illegal seizure of Naftogaz’ investments in Crimea, it said February 18.
An offshore exploration and production subsidiary of Naftogaz, Chornomornaftogaz, produced about 1bn m³/yr in waters in the Crimean sector of the Black Sea, the gas being delivered to Crimea, which Russia has de facto controlled since a referendum on rule by Kiev or Moscow was held in early 2014. There were also other plans to produce oil and gas in the region jointly with other companies.
According to the terms of the agreement, Naftogaz said it had sent an official request for a consultation and talks with a representative of the Russian Federation to resolve the dispute.
If the dispute cannot be resolved through talks, Naftogaz intends to submit it for arbitration, it said.
Also on February 18 Naftogaz and Chornomornaftogaz, with the help of the Ukrainian ambassador to Mexico and some Mexican advisers who were experienced in the release of ocean-going vessels, secured the recovery of Titan 2, an offshore lifting vessel owned by Chornomornaftogaz. It had been confiscated by the Mexican authorities while operating in the Gulf of Mexico.
“This is the first time that an authorised agency of another country has officially recognised Chornomornaftogaz – which was re-registered in Kiev after Russia’s occupation of the autonomous republic of Crimea – as the owner of property that belonged to the former Chornomornaftogaz,” Naftogaz said.
Titan-2 was seized by the Mexican finance agencies owing to the bankruptcy of the lessee.