London — Ukraine's state-owned Naftogaz said Friday a Swedish court would hear in 2020 the appeal by Russia's Gazprom against the Stockholm arbitration court's net $2.56 billion award in Naftogaz's favor, well after the expiry of the parties' 10-year gas supply and transit accord.
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Gazprom has said it would only agree new terms for post-2019 transit after the Svea court had ruled on its appeal against the arbitration award, which could complicate future talks on Russian gas transit via Ukraine.
Naftogaz said it would continue its efforts to enforce the award in the meantime.
"Naftogaz will make Gazprom comply with the transit award and pay us $2.56 billion with nearly $200 million in interest for the past year," Naftogaz executive officer Yuriy Vitrenko said in a statement.
Talks on new transit arrangements -- crucial for Russian gas to continue to reach Europe via Ukraine from 2020 -- have been held sporadically over the past year, with the next round set for May.
However, Gazprom has been reluctant to make any commitments while the arbitration appeal is outstanding, a position repeated by Russian energy minister Alexander Novak after the last round of trilateral talks with Kiev and Brussels in January.
"To hold concrete discussions on a contract, the court case between the companies needs to be resolved," Novak said.
The Stockholm arbitration court ruled in February 2018 that Gazprom should pay Naftogaz $4.56 billion in damages for not transiting the agreed volumes of Russian gas to Europe under the parties' 2009 transit accord.
Taking into account Gazprom's earlier $2 billion win in the arbitration ruling on Russian gas supply to Ukraine, Naftogaz is owed a net $2.56 billion by Gazprom.
Naftogaz has since been looking to seize Gazprom assets around the world in order to force the Russian company to pay up.
"Naftogaz has initiated debt enforcement procedures against Gazprom under the arbitration award in several jurisdictions including the Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland, the US, and most recently in Luxembourg," the company said Friday.
"Similar proceedings may also start in other countries in the near future," it said.
The proceedings require the identification of assets directly owned by Gazprom along with application to the relevant national court for enforcement.
Naftogaz said the courts in the relevant jurisdictions were currently considering when it would be possible to start debt enforcement procedures against Gazprom through the sale of its assets.
-- Stuart Elliott, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by James Leech, email@example.com