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Russia’s Gazprom is claiming around $50 billion from Ukraine’s Naftogaz at an international arbitration over gas pricing contracts, and the claim could potentially swell to $80 billion, according to Naftogaz chief commercial officer Yuriy Vitrenko.
Gazprom and Naftogaz are suing each other over the gas pricing contracts at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, with each claiming billions of dollars from the other. Gazprom sued Naftogaz in 2014, claiming the Ukrainian company had not paid its dues for gas supplies in 2013 and 2014. Naftogaz, in turn, filed a counter-claim against Gazprom in 2015, demanding retroactive revision of the gas price, compensation for sums overpaid, and removal of restrictions to re-export gas. Naftogaz is also insisting that some clauses in the long-term contract are against Ukrainian and EU antitrust laws.
Now Naftogaz’s Vitrenko said in an online interview with Novoye Vremia, as rendered in English by Interfax Ukraine:
“They demand around $50 billion from us [the sum they believe we were to pay for the relevant volumes of gas and did not pay]. If we look at the future, to the expiration date, this would be an additional $30 billion.”
According to Naftogaz’s first-half 2016 report from August last year, its outstanding debt for gas purchases from Gazprom for the period 2009 – 2013 was nearly $8 billion as of early 2014.
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Gazprom’s claim as of early 2016 had reached $26.7 billion for the period 2012 to 2014. In addition, Gazprom has proposed that Naftogaz pay $2.5 billion for the third quarter of 2015, the Ukrainian company said early last year, saying that it considers the ‘take-or-pay’ clause as set out in the gas supply contract with Gazprom “not market based, invalid and inapplicable”.
According to the Ukrainian company, the Stockholm arbitration court is expected to make its final decision on the gas supply dispute by March 31, 2017.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and…