On July 6, Naftogaz filed a new lawsuit with the Stockholm Arbitration Court on a contract with Gazprom on gas transit, the Ukrainian company said. Preliminary assessment of the requirement - $ 11.58 billion excluding interest. "The transit contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom gives the parties the opportunity to demand a revision of the tariff if significant changes have taken place in the European gas market, and when the tariff does not correspond to the European level," the Ukrainian company said.
The last time the request to revise the tariff for Naftogaz was sent to Gazprom in March 2018. The Russian company took an "unconstructive position," Naftogaz believes, so further discussion of the tariff for Russian gas transit will go to the arbitration court. "This time [we are talking] about the revision of the transit tariff for 2018-2019," said commercial director of the Ukrainian company Yuri Vitrenko on his page in Facbook. "The preliminary amount of claims in our appeal to arbitration, which we filed today, is almost $ 12 billion." Gazprom has not commented on the new lawsuit of Naftogaz.
The cost of transit along the "Ukrainian route", as well as its volumes, is one of the main causes of the conflict that lasts between the companies for almost the entire duration of the contract. The agreement on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine was concluded in January 2009. Under its terms, Gazprom was supposed to pump at least 110 billion cubic meters of gas in this direction. m of gas annually, paying $ 2.35 bn for this. In addition to the fact that Gazprom never pumped such volumes through Ukraine, the tariff set in the contract (about $ 21.3 per 1,000 cubic meters) was not satisfied by Naftogaz either. In 2014, this was the reason for the company filing a lawsuit in Stockholm arbitration. In 2015 Gazprom's presidency, Alexei Miller, said that Naftogaz's demands to increase transit fees were unacceptable, it was almost doubling its price (from $ 2.7 to $ 5 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers).
On February 28, 2018, on the sum of two decisions (the contract on gas supply to Ukraine was also considered), the arbitrators ruled that Gazprom should pay compensation to the Ukrainian company in the amount of $ 2.56 billion and kept the requirement for minimum volumes of transit unchanged. In a retrospective revision of the tariff, however, Naftogaz was refused.
There is no question of contesting the decision, and there is no question of retrospectively reviewing the tariff, a representative of Naftogaz told Vedomosti. NAC requires a tariff change for the period from March 2018 to 2019, that is, for the remainder of the contract. This is a new arbitration trial, Vitrenko stresses. Based on the official announcement of Naftogaz, it follows that the Ukrainian company plans to insist on increasing the payment for transit by 2.46 times to $ 8.14 billion (for 110 billion cubic meters).
NAC is ready to consider trade-offs, Vitrenko says: "The amount will be reduced if Gazprom reserves transit capacity after 2019 and / or if it stops blocking the transit of gas from Central Asia and the export of other companies from Russia." In fact, we are talking about negotiations on the extension in some form of a transit contract after 2019.
Search for a mutually acceptable solution for transit through Ukraine in the interests of all parties. For the Ukrainian company, the payment for the transit of Russian gas is a significant part of the revenues. Gazprom needs this route in order to maintain gas exports at the current level. In 2017 the Russian company delivered to the far abroad 194.4 billion cubic meters. m of gas, and in 2018 this figure could exceed 200 billion cubic meters. m, said Alexei Miller. European consumers are concerned about the reliability of Russian gas supplies, which now account for almost 65% of Europe's overall gas import demand. Prospects for negotiations on the extension of supplies through Ukraine after 2019 became more complicated after the decision of Stockholm Arbitration, made on February 28. Gazprom considered it "asymmetric," and the continuation of both contracts with Naftogaz "is economically inexpedient and unprofitable." The Russian company filed an appeal, and simultaneously initiated a procedure for early termination of both agreements. "Naftogaz, in turn, in late May, began attempts to seize assets of a Russian company in Europe to forcibly collect from it $ 2.56 billion, which also does not simplify the negotiation process between the parties.
The nearest attempt to start constructive talks on the extension of transit is scheduled for the middle of this month. A trilateral meeting between Russia, the European Union and Ukraine may take place on July 17-18, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.