The Dutch court has ruled in favour of Ukraine’s #Naftogaz and arrested six of seven #Gazprom’s assets in the Netherlands. They did not specify what assets were seized. A Naftogaz representative refused to name the subsidiaries and a Gazprom representative promised to comment once they carefully study the official court documents.
The claim to arrest Gazprom assets follows the Stockholm arbitration court ruling in February to pay $2.6bn to Naftogaz. At that time the Ukrainian gas company promised to employ all available legal methods to recover the whole amount from the Russian gas giant.
Gazprom has seven Dutch-based subsidiaries, including Gazprom Gerosgaz Holdings B.V. that owns 1.43% in Gazprom. Naftogaz provided no information whether this asset was seized. Meanwhile, the market price of the asset is RUB49.4bn, or $793m at the current exchange rate.
Naftogaz commercial director Yury Vitrenko recalls the Stockholm court ruled to recover a total of $4.63bn from Gazprom to compensate for losses suffered by Naftogaz due to transit contract violations. The Ukrainian side has already received $2.1bn accounted for as payments for gas supplied to Naftogaz in 2014-2015.
At the end of May, Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko promised they would seize shares and other Gazprom assets not only in Switzerland, UK and the Netherlands but in other countries as well and take maximum efforts to recover every penny from Gazprom.
The court dispute between Gazprom and Naftogaz in Stockholm continues since 2014 and concerns gas transit and gas supply contracts. The court ruled the Russian gas monopolist should pay about $2,6 bn as fines to Naftogaz and transit no less than 110 bcm via Ukraine annually in 2018-2019 [the transit payment is $2,35 bn a year]. The court ruling was passed on 28 February and came in force on the same day.
Gazprom appealed against the court decision, refused to pay and initiated an early termination of both gas contracts. Later, at the end of May, Gazprom demanded to reverse the court ruling regarding the transit contract on the grounds of a linguistic expert evaluation. The gas giant explained they suspect third parties were involved in working out the court’s wording.
In line with the arbitration court ruling, the fine for delays is about $0.5m a day. This means the fine for Gazprom already increased by about $45m during the spring months.