Gazprombank puts its eye on gas

The bank demands Dmitry Firtash's Ostchem to repay a loan.
Russia may receive one of the gas lever of pressure on Kiev: Gazprombank demanded Ostchem Dmitry Firtash to pay off the loan balance of $ 842.5 million for the purchase of Russian gas and is threatening to take away a pledge - about 6 billion cubic meters of gas in Ukrainian underground storage facilities. If you get bail Gazprombank, it will be the largest holder of gas reserves in underground storage facilities of Ukraine, and these volumes are essential for the passage of Kiev winter.

Gazprombank has officially announced that Dmitry Firtash Ostchem unable to repay the loan the bank's $ 842.5 million, and demanded urgent return of funds. If Ostchem not repay the loan and interest until 30 December, the bank is going to make a claim for repayment of the loan to the Guarantor - the four largest chemical companies Ostchem, as well as to recover the pledge - 5.7 billion cubic meters of gas in underground storage facilities of Ukraine.

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Gazprombank has provided $ 1.35 billion Ostchem the autumn of 2013, that the money was purchased gas for injection into underground storage facilities. This gas in winter served as "insurance" to "Gazprom" for transit through Ukraine. In Ostchem includes chemical concern "Styrene" (Donetsk region), "Azot" (Cherkasy), Severodonetsk association "Nitrogen" (Lugansk region), "Rivneazot" Estonian "Nitrofert" and "Tajikazot". After the outbreak of hostilities in May Firtash stopped working Lugansk "Nitrogen" and concern "Styrene", and Ostchem were large volumes of gas. But the company can not take advantage of them: September 29, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has banned private companies to raise gas from underground storage facilities to maintain the necessary pressure. Thus, Ostchem can not sell its gas and can not repaycredit.

Vladimir Putin described the situation in October, noting that the inability to supply gas to Ukrainian chemical enterprises - "this is an internal problem of Ukraine". In November, the president in an interview with German ARD television said that Gazprombank has the right to demand Ostchem credit to maturity: "But if we do that, then filled up the entire financial system of Ukraine And if we do not do that, can be filled up our bank what to do.. ? " Now, along with Gazprombank, VTB claims at the expense of the National Welfare Fund.

Gazprombank and Ostchem declined to comment. The key will be the position of the Ukrainian government, which froze the gas Ostchem. The UGS Ukraine is now 12.5 billion cubic meters, that is excluding gas Ostchem Kiev has only 2-2.5 billion cubic meters (not less than 4.5 billion cubic meters - a buffer gas, which can not be raised). If Gazprombank will be able to decide the fate of Ostchem gas, it becomes the owner of the largest stocks of raw materials in Ukraine, and from the position of the bank will depend on the prospects for serious passage of the heating season. Now "Naftogaz of Ukraine" m trying toinimizirovat gas purchases in Russia: up to the end of the year, the company paid "Gazprom" only 1 billion cubic meters, while in Kiev insists on austerity energy.

The legal possibility of Kiev depend on whether the GBO and Ostchem agreement on extrajudicial debt recovery, as well as on whether the pledge Ostchem give voluntarily. If no such agreement, the deposit will be levied by the court (optional Ukrainian). But foreclosure proceedings on collateral located in Ukraine, if the debtor does not comply with the court's decision voluntarily, will go through local courts: for enforcement of an arbitral award or a Russian court it is necessary to recognize the economic court of Ukraine.

In the history of gas relations between Russia and Ukraine have had a similar case when "Naftogaz" has used for its gas needs of the Swiss of Rosukrenergo, which has been co-owner of Mr. Firtash. After the decision of the Stockholm arbitration "Naftogaz" has been forced to return the gas by buying corresponding amounts from "Gazprom". According to the deputy head Alexei FNES Grivach, Ukraine will have to use winter gas Ostchem, and in this situation, Dmitry Firtash, which in any case almost certainly will be left without gas, more profitable to abandon the collateral to repay the debt, which the businessman is unlikely to be able to return the money.