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Swiss Court Blocks Nord Stream Payments In Ukraine-Gazprom Dispute

As part of the Ukraine-Russia gas dispute saga, a Swiss court has issued an injunction that blocks payments from the Nord Stream gas pipeline to Russia’s Gazprom, the Russian gas giant has said in a Eurobond issue prospect.  

Under the Swiss court ruling, all payments from Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG, which are majority held by Gazprom, will go to the Swiss bailiffs.

Gazprom plans to appeal the Swiss court injunction, the chairman of Gazprom’s board of directors Viktor Zubkov told Russia’s TASS news agency on Monday.

Gazprom will build Nord Stream 2 and ensure reliable gas supply to Europe no matter what, TASS quoted Zubkov as saying.

At the end of February this year, the Stockholm arbitration court ruled in favor of Ukraine’s Naftogaz in the payment dispute with Gazprom, ordering the Russian company to pay Naftogaz US$2.56 billion for failing to supply Ukraine with the agreed amount of natural gas over a period of several years and also for failing to pay the full transit fees for the gas it did pump in that direction.

Since the court ruling—which Gazprom is appealing—Ukraine has been looking to enforce the court award.  

Naftogaz has been looking to seize Gazprom assets in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the UK, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying at the end of May, and those assets could include shares of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2.

Naftogaz said in June that a Dutch court had approved its petition to freeze Gazprom assets in the Netherlands as the Ukrainian company seeks to enforce the payment of the US$2.6 billion award.

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On May 29, Gazprom said that it had appealed the ruling of the Swedish arbitration court, and said that it is “asking for a complete reversal.”

The next day, Naftogaz said that it had initiated enforcement of the US$2.6 billion court award in Switzerland and the Swiss authorities had started taking measures to seize Gazprom assets in Switzerland.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Alex Sasha on November 12 2018 said:
    First, this is not final. Gazprom would appeal.
    Second, even if the Swiss court's order is enforced, $2.6B is only a speed bump for a company as big as Gazprom, whose 2017 revenue was 113 billions!

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