Russian Gas Giant Ordered to Pay Ukraine $2.56 Bln Over Price Hikes

Russian Gas Giant Ordered to Pay Ukraine $2.56 Bln Over Price Hikes

Gazprom said on Saturday it had started moves to terminate gas supply contracts with Naftogaz, though Kiev said there had so far been no impact on supplies through its pipelines to Europe.

Gazprom's refusal to resume gas supplies to Ukraine caused an emergency gas shortage in Ukraine, thus forcing the government's hand. The Ukrainian side has no funds for repayment of the $2-billion debt to Gazprom under the court decision on the first suit.

In a statement, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the ruling meant the gas deals with Ukraine would no longer be commercially viable, so the company had no choice but to ask the court to terminate them.

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Almost four years after failing to agree on a price for Russian gas shipments, Ukraine's state-owned energy company has declared victory in worldwide arbitration that orders Russia's Gazprom to pay $2.56 billion for failing to fulfil export volume obligations. "This will improve security of supply and give Ukrainians affordable energy", Kobolyev added. The announcement followed the verdict of the Stockholm Arbitration Court which heard the dispute. The arbitrators ground their decision by the fact that the situation with the Ukrainian economy has drastically worsened.

All of these terms relate to gas that Ukraine buys for its own use. However, since 2012, Naftogaz failed to fully intake the contracted volume. Since that date, it has been buying gas from Western Europe in order to reduce its energy dependency on Russian Federation, according to Reuters.

The current gas standoff is part of a wider political conflict between Russian Federation and Ukraine, which flared up in 2014 when a pro-Moscow Ukrainian president fled Kiev following violent street protests.

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The court also ruled that part of the price Naftogaz was supposed to pay would be reduced. In addition, most of the gas storage facilities to hold a reserve of gas ahead of the winter heating season are located on Ukraine's territory, not Russia's.

Gazprom demanded that Naftogaz should pay arrears for gas that had been supplied earlier.

The Stockholm court ruled that Gazprom should pay about $ 4.7 bln to Naftogaz (taking into account the satisfied counter claims, Gazprom has to pay $ 2.56 bln). Summing the two awards, Gazprom has been left with a bill of $2.56bn.

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