The FINANCIAL — The Naftohaz Ukrainy national joint-stock company has denied reports in the mass media indicating that the RosUkrEnergo company has filed a lawsuit with Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in a bid to recover 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas held in Ukrainian underground storage facilities from Naftohaz Ukrainy.
Naftohaz Ukrainy’s First Deputy Board Chairman Ihor Didenko announced this on the TVi television channel.
«A lawsuit by RosUkrEnergo against Naftohaz Ukrainy over the movement of 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas does not exist at the Stockholm court,» Didenko said.
According to Didenko, an organizational meeting was held at the arbitration institute on March 24, during which all the lawsuits that companies filed against each other were announced.
«From RosUkrEnergo, there is a lawsuit involving [USD] 55 million, [USD] 20 million, and [USD] 600 million. There are counter-suits by Naftohaz Ukrainy against RosUkrEnergo. Specifically, USD 62 million and USD 118 million for termination of a transport contract and a contract for storage of gas. There are at least seven lawsuits between us,» he said.
He added that these lawsuits were grouped during the first session of the arbitration institute and that two of them, which were combined into one, would be considered in the period of June-august 2009 and a decision would most likely be made in 2010.
According to Didenko, the remaining lawsuits will be considered in 2010.
He expressed the hope that all the arbitration institute’s decisions would be in favor of Naftohaz Ukrainy.
«Because by signing an agreement on ceding the right [to collect RosUkrEnergo’s debt to Gazprom] we legally became the owner of the contract between Gazprom and RosUkrEnergo. Swedish law flows not only legal casuistry, but it also considers the material and economic components of agreements,» he said, stressing that the contract between RosUkrEnergo and Gazprom mad no provision for fines.
Gazprom has denied media reports that it backed RosUkrEnergo’s demands during consideration of the lawsuits in Stockholm.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, several mass media outlets have reported several times that RosUkrEnergo has filed lawsuits with the Stockholm arbitration institute over the disputed 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
According to the Supplement No. 1 to the contract for transit of natural gas that Naftohaz Ukrainy and Gazprom signed on January 19, which was published in the mass media, Gazprom has the right to make advance payments of up to USD 1.7 billion in the period of January-February 2009 for transit of natural gas in the period of 2009-2010.
Naftohaz Ukrainy undertook to use this money to pay for the right to recover debts from RosUkrEnergo that Gazprom, its subsidiaries, and affiliated companies ceded to Naftohaz Ukrainy.
Customs cleared 6.3 billion cubic meters out of the 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas in late February.
Before this, Gazprom and Naftohaz Ukrainy concluded two deals aimed at legalizing the disputed volumes of natural gas.
First, Gazprom transferred USD 1.7 billion to Naftohaz Ukrainy as prepayment for transit of gas through Ukraine. This money was later transferred back into Gazprom’s account as payment for purchase of RosUkrEnergo’s debt of USD 1.7 billion.
The second deal involved sale of 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas held in underground storage facilities by Naftohaz Ukrainy to Gazprom and purchase of the same quantity of natural gas.
Gazprom has said that Naftohaz Ukrainy has the right to collect the debt of USD 1.7 billion from RosUkrEnergo in cash or in the form of natural gas.