A Dutch court approved a petition to freeze the Dutch assets of Gazprom to enforce an arbitration decision awarded by the Stockholm arbitration court to Ukraine's Naftogaz to receive $2.6 billion from the Russian company, Ukraine's national oil and gas company Naftogaz said Tuesday.
Last week, Naftogaz said it filed a petition for an attachment of Gazprom's shares in its Dutch subsidiaries and any debts owed from these subsidiaries to Gazprom.
According to Naftogaz, the bailiffs are working on implementing the freeze after the Swiss court supported the Naftogaz petition.
"These petitions were made to secure Naftogaz's right to payment of $2.6 billion by Gazprom pursuant to the arbitration award issued in February 2018," the Ukrainian company said.
"Naftogaz will use all legitimate measures and tools available to us to enforce the decision and fully recover the amount awarded from Gazprom. Unfortunately, the company is not acting in good faith, in respect neither of the arbitration awards, nor with the orders of European courts in other jurisdictions," said Naftogaz's CEO Andriy Kobolyev.
In April 2014, Gazprom increased the gas price for Naftogaz by over 80 percent within days following the Russian occupation of Crimea.
Naftogaz said it challenged the "ill-grounded price hike" in the arbitration, and the tribunal ruled in favor of a decrease in payment for the offtake of gas in 2014-2015 by approximately $1.8 billion.
In addition, the tribunal rejected Gazprom's take-or-pay claim as unconscionable, resulting in $77 billion savings for Naftogaz up to the expiry of the contract in 2019.
Naftogaz has moved to arrest assets in other jurisdictions as well, including the shares of Gazprom's subsidiaries - Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG in Switzerland.
Confirmed by the swift decisions of courts in various European jurisdictions last week, Gazprom’s appeal against the Stockholm arbitration award will not postpone the Russian company’s obligation to settle immediately and will not have any effect on the enforcement process.
By Murat Temizer