UPDATE4: Naftogaz to demand price difference of Europe gas from Gazprom
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MOSCOW/ST. PETERSBURG/KIEV, Mar 5 (PRIME) -- The gas Ukraine had to buy from Europe because of Gazprom’s decision to terminate contracts is 34% more expensive than the gas that the company could have bought from Russia and Naftogaz will claim the difference from Gazprom, CFO Yury Vitrenko said on Monday.
“The latest data say the average gas price from European suppliers exceeds Gazprom’s price by 33.9% this March,” Vitrenko said on his Facebook page. “All this overpayment will be charged from Gazprom.”
On March 1, the Stockholm arbitration court ordered Gazprom to pay U.S. $2.56 billion to Naftogaz Ukrainy under a transit agreement. Gazprom said it returned Naftogaz’s payment for March supplies, adding it would not start the shipments because a supplementary agreement to the contract was not coordinated.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told reporters that his company has officially notified Naftogaz that it started procedures at the Stockholm arbitration court to terminate the gas supply and transit contracts, and launched a new arbitration case.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that comments on the spat, which is to be settled at court, are excessive.
“The situation is to be regulated by law. Lawyers of our company, Gazprom I mean, are dealing with it this is why any comments look excessive,” he said and added that the Russian company has a consistent position.
Vitrenko said at a news conference that Naftogaz has received Gazprom’s notifications about intention to start a procedure of terminating gas contracts in court and is studying the information.
“We have received information from Gazprom about their intention to apply to an arbitration court to introduce changes or cancel a contract on gas supplies and a contract on transit of gas through the territory of Ukraine. We are thoroughly studying this information,” he said, adding that Naftogaz sees no reasons to break a contract on gas supplies and transit with Gazprom.
Naftogaz is ready to hold talks with Gazprom to bring their relations to European standards and is ready for a new arbitration process if the talks fail, Vitrenko also said.
He also said Naftogaz saw no imbalance in decisions of the Stockholm arbitration court on gas supply and transit contracts with Gazprom.
Naftogaz is ready to ensure transit of necessary gas volumes to Europe, Vitrenko added.
The company does not expect so far that Gazprom will cease transit of Russian gas and believes the contracts will be in force until the end of 2019, Vitrenko said.
Gazprom announced intention to cancel the contract or change it, but no intention to sign a new contract was expressed, he also said.
“We are talking about changes to the existing contract or its cancellation. We have no information, at least official, from Gazprom about a new contract. I’ve not heard Gazprom’s statements that… they want a new contract. They announced intention to achieve cancellation of the contract… they also agree on introducing amendments to the contract,” Vitrenko said.
Naftogaz will apply to Gazprom later on Monday about gas supplies in April, he also said.
“In the near future, today we will apply to them (to Gazprom) to make it clear whether they will fulfill their contract terms in April. In order that we understand whether we will receive gas from Gazprom in April or again from the European direction,” he said.