Ukraine and RAO Gazprom Sign Amicable Agreement



Ukraine and RAO Gazprom signed a settlement agreement, according to which Kiev refuses the fine imposed by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine on a Russian company. The total fine amounted to about 7.4 billion dollars.

The signing of the agreement was announced by Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Ivan Leshchina, who is in Vienna as part of the Ukrainian delegation at the talks.

“I cannot disclose the details of the transaction because it is confidential, but it is important that Russia withdraws its claims, and we do not violate our rule not to conclude amicable agreements in investment arbitrations, according to which Ukraine should pay any compensation to the investor,” commented the content agreement on Facebook deputy minister.

On behalf of Ukraine, the agreement was signed by Minister of Justice Denis Malyuka, and on behalf of Gazprom, Yekaterina Burmistrova, deputy chairman of the company's board. Their signatures can be seen in the photo of the agreement, which Ivan Leshchina posted on his page on Facebook.

In January 2016, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine fined Gazprom in the amount of almost 86 billion hryvnias for abuse of its monopoly position in the gas transit market through the Ukrainian gas transportation system in 2009-2015. Taking into account the late payment interest, the amount doubled, to UAH 172 billion.

Gazprom did not agree with this penalty and challenged it in the courts, in particular, in the Geneva Arbitration Court.

"Not yet"
At the same time, it is still not known that other documents have been signed, and above all, a contract for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine.

Despite the fact that several members of the delegation reported on social networks that the negotiations have been completed, Naftogaz’s executive director, Yuri Vitrenko, told Facebook around 3:30 pm Kyiv time that the talks were ongoing and called for “to remain calm”.

Naftogaz of Ukraine reported in social networks only one proposal.

“We are asked: well, what are the forecasts for the negotiations? A difficult topic to comment on,” the Naftogaz official Facebook page says.

At the same time, the head of the company "Operator of the gas transmission system of Ukraine" Sergey Makogon wrote in social networks that the negotiations ended early in the morning of December 30.

“Today, at 5.28 in the morning, we completed an almost round-the-clock 4-day negotiation marathon with Gazprom in Vienna. I am already flying to solve another important task - the timely signing of an inter-operator agreement with the Slovak operator GTS Eustream, according to European rules,” he said.

The signing of a settlement agreement was one of the conditions for concluding a new contract for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine.

On December 20, representatives of Ukraine and Russia signed a protocol in which they agreed on the main points of future gas cooperation between the two countries.

At the same time, the parties announced that they would sign an official gas supply contract until December 29 of this year, but negotiations were delayed.

The main points of the protocol were:

Ukraine and Russia agreed on guaranteed volumes of transit of Russian gas in the next five years - the first year 65 billion cubic meters, the next - 40 each.
Before the New Year, a Russian company will pay Ukraine $ 2.9 billion in debt to Stockholm. But Ukraine refuses lawsuits of more than 10 billion.
In two decisions in the winter of 2017-2018, the Stockholm Arbitration recognized that the Ukrainian side owed Gazprom $ 2 billion for gas delivered but not paid, but the Russian monopoly owed 4.6 billion dollars to the operators of Ukrainian pipelines for transit.

At the end of November this year, the Swedish Court of Appeal upheld these decisions, from which it followed that Gazprom was required to pay a difference of $ 2.6 billion. Additionally accumulated interest for delaying payment.

Victory or a drop in the ocean?
December 27, Gazprom paid Ukraine more than $ 2.9 billion in accordance with the decision of the Stockholm arbitration. This was announced on Facebook by the Executive Director of NAK Naftogaz of Ukraine Yuriy Vitrenko.

"Yes, Ukraine received $ 2.918 billion from Gazprom pursuant to a decision of the Stockholm arbitration!" he wrote.

"Another victory. For some, maybe a little. And for a country - big. The money is already in Ukrainian accounts - according to the agreements reached," President Vladimir Zelensky commented on the news.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak previously stated that the payment of compensation of nearly $ 3 billion for the Stockholm arbitration is a “drop in the bucket” in comparison with other possible claims against Russia.

Naftogaz’s executive director, Yuri Vitrenko, wrote on the eve that the Ukrainian team had completed their “homework” before December 26 — it prepared draft contracts that are ready for signing.

In Ukraine, the most criticized were the very insignificant volumes of gas transit, which would practically not give Ukraine revenues, as well as the rejection of future lawsuits against Gazprom.

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