Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom has initiated a new arbitration case against Naftogaz, since it lost the previous case. By the end of October, the Ukrainian company will present its counterclaims, Naftogaz executive officer Yuriy Vitrenko told UNN in a comment.
“Gazprom has initiated a new arbitration case after it lost the previous one. In the new arbitration case, Gazprom’s demands are essentially that they want to revoke the decision of the previous arbitration case – at least so that they do not owe us $3 billion with interest now, and that we should owe them for the gas that was supplied to Ukraine and was not fully paid for – $2 billion,” explained Vitrenko.
The Russian company’s claims effectively amount to $5 billion, he noted.
Naftogaz, in turn, is demanding a revision of the transit tariff, and will submit this claim by the end of October.
“These counterclaims are mostly a revision of the transit tariff, which should lead to Gazprom paying Ukraine, Naftogaz, $11-14 billion in compensation. But there are also other claims, for example, to compensate us for the difference between the cost of gas that we bought on the European market and the cost of the gas which Gazprom is contractually supposed to supply us after the most recent arbitration case changed the price. This also involves hundreds of millions of dollars,” he explained.
Vitrenko also noted that the lawsuits with Gazprom cost millions of dollars per year. However, he believes that they are worth it.
“Quite a powerful team is working for Naftogaz, with respect to external lawyers. In principle, we’re talking about millions of dollars per year. The previous arbitration case, which lasted five years, we can do the math for. But on the other hand, for example, thanks to this arbitration case we established that we do not owe Gazprom according to the so-called ‘take or pay’ principle. If we work it out, by the end of the contract it would have amounted to $80 billion. In other words, we are not paying this $80 billion,” Vitrenko said.
He emphasized that from a financial perspective it is far better to pay lawyers and to go to court than to pay tens of billions of dollars to Gazprom.