Dutch court holds hearing on Gazprom’s attempts to avoid debt pay-off to Naftogaz in gas dispute
A hearing concerning Gazprom's attempts to avoid payment to Naftogaz in line with the Award in the gas transit arbitration was held in Amsterdam June 29, the Naftogaz press service reported July 2.
"Naftogaz expects that the court will require Gazprom to comply with earlier instructions of Dutch enforcement authorities and disclose information about its assets located in the Netherlands," the report reads.
The court is expected to hand down its ruling by July 13.
In late May, a Dutch judge granted Naftogaz a permission "to attach Gazprom’s shares in its Dutch subsidiaries and the debts those subsidiaries owe to Gazprom."
"Six out of seven of Gazprom’s Dutch subsidiaries refused to cooperate with enforcement authorities and provide information about Gazprom shareholdings. This refusal has not affected the validity of the attachments," the Naftogaz press service says.
In the past weeks, courts have attached Gazprom assets in Switzerland, the UK and the Netherlands.
As UNIAN reported earlier, at the end of February 2018, the Russian energy monopoly, Gazprom, lost a lawsuit filed by Naftogaz with Stockholm arbitration on a gas transit contract. Gazprom was obliged to pay to the Ukrainian side $4.6 billion. At the same time, taking into account the arbitration award on the gas supply contract, the final amount of settlements between the companies is $2.6 billion in favor of Naftogaz.
Against the backdrop of their loss, Gazprom announced their intention to terminate in court its contracts with Ukraine for the supply and transit of gas. In the second decade of March, Gazprom officially notified Naftogaz of their refusal to comply with the arbitration award.
Late May, Naftogaz began the process of forcing a $2.6 billion debt from Gazprom in foreign courts. The recovery process has already begun in England, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Among the assets of interest to the Ukrainian side are the shares of companies operating the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.
In mid-June, Gazprom said that the Swedish court suspended enforcement of the Stockholm arbitration award in a dispute over the gas transit contract.
In turn, Naftogaz was informed that the decision was taken without Naftogaz being called in and, accordingly, without taking into account the explanations and arguments that would have been submitted by Naftogaz, had the court notified the company of the existence of such a claim by Gazprom.
Naftogaz noted that the court's decision does not lead to the cancellation of arbitration decisions and does not give Gazprom the opportunity to demand from Naftogaz a return of $2.1 billion already accounted for by the arbitration award as compensation.
On June 18, Naftogaz filed a submission with the Svea County Court of Appeals aimed at unblocking the $2.6 billion debt recovery procedure as part of the enforcement of the Stockholm Arbitration Award.