In an interview with the Ukrainian magazine Novoe Vremya, Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev discussed the progress that has been made in the implementation of the Stockholm Arbitration Institute’s ruling that awarded Naftogaz $2.56 billion.
“Gazprom has tens of billions of dollars in property abroad. We have already seized it to an amount which exceeds the amount of Gazprom’s debt to us,” UNIAN cites Kobolyev as saying.
Kobolyev explained that in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, Gazprom’s assets have been arrested, and soon there will be hearings on a forced sale. The head of Naftogaz added that legal processes have been initiated in six jurisdictions. He did not clarify exactly which assets were affected.
Kobolyev mentioned another way to forcibly collect the funds from Gazprom – to write off the excess funds paid by the Russian company for gas transit. The Naftogaz CEO believes that Ukraine may receive the money in full “sometime during the course of the year”.
In the middle of December, Naftogaz reported that a court in New York had ordered a number of companies to provide information about Gazprom’s assets in European countries. The companies in question were GLAS Americas and the Bank of New York Mellon, which possessed information on the Russian company’s assets in the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Previously, Naftogaz announced that it had filed a lawsuit in Texas with a view to extract information from the consulting firm DeGolyer & MacNaughton. The firm may be able to provide Kyiv with information needed to file a lawsuit in the Netherlands, where Naftogaz is trying to dispute the transfer of shares in the Turkish Stream pipeline’s operator company to a Russian subsidiary.
In February 2018, the Stockholm Arbitration Institute ordered Gazprom to pay Kyiv $4,63 billion for a gas shortfall in the context of a transit agreement. Taking into account Ukraine’s debt of roughly $2.1 billion, Gazprom owed a balance of $2.56 billion. In summer last year, Naftogaz began the process of enforced collection of these funds from the Russian party. The implementation of the collection was temporarily suspended when Gazprom appealed the decision, but the appeal was soon overruled.