Swiss court re-instates attachment of Gazprom's assets – Naftogaz
The Zug Superior Court, Switzerland, has now re-instated attachment of Gazprom's shares in Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG in the framework of forced recovery of Gazprom's $2.6 billion debt to Naftogaz in line with the Stockholm Arbitration award.
These attachments will stay in place until the Zug Superior Court decides on Naftogaz's appeal against the local debt enforcement office's (DEO) earlier decision to lift the share attachments, the Naftogaz press service reports.
"The attachment of shares was lifted solely based on the statements of Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG that the shares to be attached were not located within canton Zug and thus within the DEO’s jurisdiction and, as a result, to be struck off the list of attached assets," the press service says.
"Without suspensive effect granted by the Superior Court, the DEO’s decisions would have become enforceable and the shares of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 would have been at Gazprom’s disposal again, even if they were located within the Zug’s DEO jurisdiction," Naftogaz stresses, adding that now, "the said shares cannot be moved out of the Zug’s DEO jurisdiction during Naftogaz’s appeal consideration."
As UNIAN reported earlier, at the end of February 2018, the Russian energy monopoly, Gazprom, lost a lawsuit filed by Naftogaz with Stockholm arbitration on a gas transit contract. Gazprom was obliged to pay to the Ukrainian side $4.6 billion. At the same time, taking into account the arbitration award on the gas supply contract, the final amount of settlements between the companies is $2.6 billion in favor of Naftogaz.
Against the backdrop of their loss, Gazprom announced their intention to terminate in court its contracts with Ukraine for the supply and transit of gas. In the second decade of March, Gazprom officially notified Naftogaz of their refusal to comply with the arbitration award.
Late May, Naftogaz began the process of forcing a $2.6 billion debt from Gazprom in foreign courts. The recovery process has already begun in England, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Among the assets of interest to the Ukrainian side are the shares of companies operating the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.
In mid-June, Gazprom said that the Swedish court suspended enforcement of the Stockholm arbitration award in a dispute over the gas transit contract.
In turn, Naftogaz was informed that the decision was taken without Naftogaz being called in and, accordingly, without taking into account the explanations and arguments that would have been submitted by Naftogaz, had the court notified the company of the existence of such a claim by Gazprom.
Naftogaz noted that the court's decision does not lead to the cancellation of arbitration decisions and does not give Gazprom the opportunity to demand from Naftogaz a return of $2.1 billion already accounted for by the arbitration award as compensation.
On June 18, Naftogaz filed a submission with the Svea County Court of Appeals aimed at unblocking the $2.6 billion debt recovery procedure as part of the enforcement of the Stockholm Arbitration Award.