On Wednesday, June 13, the Svea County Court of Appeal suspended execution of the Stockholm arbitration award, which concerns a transit contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine. This was first reported by the Russian company, and a little later confirmed by the Ukrainian. The application was submitted on June 7. This was done in connection with the appeal of the arbitration award on the transit contract and the "attempts of Naftogaz" before the consideration of the complaint in essence to begin the procedure of enforcement of this decision in various jurisdictions, "Gazprom said.
"Interfax-Ukraine" with reference to "Naftogaz" informs: the decision is temporary, passed without notice to the Ukrainian company and "Naftogaz" will insist on its revision. "In accordance with the law of Sweden" On Arbitration "the order of the Court of Appeal can not be appealed," - retorts Gazprom.
The ruling by the appellate court deprives Naftogaz of the grounds for attempts to seize assets of the Russian company abroad, Gazprom underscores. This will be used as a motivating part of the appeal against the security measures already imposed on the assets of the Russian company in Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The proceedings of Gazprom and Naftogaz in Stockholm on contracts for the transit and supply of gas to Ukraine lasted from 2014. In the amount of two decisions, the arbitration ordered the Russian company to pay the Ukrainian about $ 2.6 billion in fine and during 2018-2019. To pump through Ukraine not less than 110 billion cubic meters. m annually (transit fees - $ 2.35 billion per year). The decision was taken on 28 February and entered into force on the same day. In March, Gazprom filed appeals against both decisions. In parallel, the Russian company initiated early termination of both agreements.
On May 29, on the initiative of Naftogaz, the process of forcible collection of $ 2.6 billion from Gazprom began. A notice of the freezing of assets on the debt of the Russian company to Naftogaz was received by Nord Stream 2 AG (operator of the Nord Stream-2 project, 100% owned by Gazprom). The bailiffs also appeared in the office of Nord Stream AG (operator of the Nord Stream), an interviewee of Vedomosti, close to Gazprom, said: their appearance was connected with the arbitration proceedings of Gazprom and Naftogaz. On June 5, Naftogaz reported that the arrests of the assets of the Russian company continued - this time in the Netherlands. What assets were arrested, Naftogaz did not specify. Gazprom stressed that it did not receive official notifications.
The Svea County Court of Appeal is a state court that has jurisdiction over applications for cancellation of decisions of Stockholm arbitration, says senior lawyer of BGP Litigation Maxim Kuzmin. The suspension of the arbitral award is not a common practice, he continues. Usually this requires proving that there are reasonable chances of success.
But to say that the decision of the district court Svea guarantees "victory" to Gazprom, it is impossible, Kuzmin and partners of legal companies "Rustam Kurmaev and partners" Dmitry Gorbunov and "West Side" Sergei Vodolagin are unanimous. But the decision of the Court of Appeal to suspend the execution of the verdict of arbitration "can be considered a tactical victory for Gazprom," continues Vodolagin. The suspension of the execution of the arbitration award "is not an indicator of the mood of the appellate instance - it is rather an interim measure provided for preserving the balance of interests of the parties to the proceedings," Gorbunov points out. But in the judicial practice there are enough examples when the state court overturned the decisions of the Stockholm arbitration, the lawyer continues.
"Naftogaz" may try to appeal the decision of the court in the Supreme Court of Sweden. But if the formal procedure has not been violated, the chances of such a complaint are insignificant, Gorbunov points out. By the decision, the issue of recovery is, in fact, frozen until the verdict on the appeal of Gazprom is passed and no foreign jurisdictions have the right to ignore it, he continues. The hearing of the case in the appellate court can take up to a year, Kuzmin notes.