UPDATE2: Peskov: New Ukrainian suits prohibit gas transit deal with Russia
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MOSCOW/KIEV, Nov 5 (PRIME) -- The new arbitration suits filed by Ukraine may block any gas transit agreement with Russia, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
“Continuation of the use of arbitration proceedings, putting forward of some kind of court claims make reaching any sort of agreement impossible. This was what President Vladimir Putin said in his speech at a press conference in Budapest,” he said.
On November 2, Ukrainian energy holding Naftogaz Ukrainy’s Executive Director Yury Vitrenko said the company had sent a U.S. $12 billion counterclaim against Russian gas giant Gazprom to the Stockholm arbitration court. He added that Naftogaz Ukrainy could charge Gazprom a $3 billion debt in 2020.
Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that such actions do not improve relations between the states and do not provide conditions for long-term agreements. He added that the parties should return to the “zero” variant of disputes settlement without “new absurd suits”.
On Tuesday, Vitrenko said in a Facebook post that the amount of the claim could be reduced to $2 billion from $12 billion if the transit of Russian gas continues in 2020.
“And if the transit continues and the income from transit remains at about the current level (in order for it to fully cover the operator’s costs, or else we need to set impairment costs) then the sum of the claim will fall to about such a level (even less than $2 billion),” Vitrenko said.
In 2018, the Stockholm arbitration court ruled that Gazprom must pay Naftogaz Ukrainy $2.56 billion for non-shipment of gas. Gazprom appealed against the decision in March and in May demanded full abolishment of the decision. Hearings of the appeal in Sweden are scheduled for September–October 2020.
Ukraine also said that it is ready to stop transit having enough gas in its storages for the upcoming winter.
Russian President President Vladimir Putin said in October that Russia was ready to negotiations with Ukraine over gas supplies at significantly reduced prices, as well as on transit of gas through the country’s territory.