Netherlands follows Switzerland in seizure of Gazprom assets

The Netherlands has followed Switzerland in the seizure of Gazprom’s assets in Europe.

According to the ruling of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce that Gazprom must pay Ukraine $2.6 billion in compensation for the shortfall in gas transit, Gazprom’s shares in its subsidiary companies in the Netherlands have been arrested, stated the press service of Naftogaz Ukraine.

Petitions for the implementation of restrictive measures were made at a Dutch court, and were approved, the Ukrainian company stated.
Six out of Gazprom’s seven subsidiary companies in Holland refused to cooperate with the court officers, although this “does not affect the arrest in any way”, Naftogaz asserts.

Kyiv is continuing to utilize “all available legal means and instruments to have the ruling carried out and receive the awarded sum from Gazprom”, said Andriy Kobolyev, head of the Ukrainian gas monopoly.

At the end of May, a similar decision was made by the Swiss authorities. Court officers went to the offices of Nord Stream AG, Gazprom’s subsidiary registered in the Zug canton, and carried out an inventory of property, in order to implement interim measures to ensure that the Stockholm court’s ruling is complied with.

According to Interfax, Gazprom’s shares in both Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG, the company constructing the second line of the gas pipeline, may have been frozen.
A source from Gazprom initially denied this to TASS. Nord Stream 2 AG later confirmed that it had received a notification on the freezing of its assets. The company emphasized, however, that it would “in no way affect the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project”.

The next step will be to seize Gazprom’s assets in the UK, a source in Ukraine’s government told Interfax-Ukraine.

The litigation between Gazprom and Naftogaz at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce was related to the terms of a contract made eight years ago concerning gas transit through Ukraine.
On February 28, the arbitration court ordered Gazprom to pay Naftogaz $4.63 for the gas transit shortfall.

The contract stipulated that Gazprom must transfer at least 110 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe through Ukraine per year, but in 2017, 15% less was exported through Ukraine – 93.4 billion cubic meters. The year before, it was only 82 billion, and in 2015, only 67.1 billion.

At the same time, the arbitration court dismissed Gazprom’s demands to fine Naftogaz for “illegally” sampling gas transit volumes.

Taking into account what Naftogaz owed the Russian company, Gazprom has to pay a balance of $2.6 billion.

The arbitrators also ordered Gazprom to pay Naftogaz $2.35 billion for the transit of 110 billion cubic meters each year until the end of the contract in 2019.

On March 30, Gazprom appealed the ruling, demanding for it to be partially revoked, and at the end of May it sent a statement to the Court of Appeal of the Svea District (Sweden) demanding the complete revocation of the decision.

The Russian holding motivated this appeal citing a “serious violation of Swedish law”. “Further examination of the text of the ruling, with the involvement of a world recognized expert linguist, showed that a significant portion of the arbitration ruling was written not by the arbitrators, but by other persons,” the company claimed.

  Gazprom, Netherlands, Switzerland, seizure of Gazprom assets