Gazprom Says Further Lawsuits Against Naftogaz to Follow Shortly

MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) –  Russia’s Gazprom may soon file new lawsuits against Ukraine’s Naftogaz in the Stockholm Arbitration Court, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Monday.

“Gazprom has filed a suit in the Stockholm Arbitration Court over Ukraine’s Naftogaz debt of $4.5 billion. We do not exclude that in the near future we may file new suits,” Miller said at the meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

In retaliation to Gazprom’s claim, its Ukrainian counterpart filed a lawsuit with the same arbitration court in Stockholm to review the 2009 bilateral gas contract.

“The Lawsuit comprises a requirement to sue Gazprom for the overpayment on gas that the Russian monopolist has supplied to Ukraine’s Naftogaz since 2010,” Naftogaz press release said Monday. The company estimates the overpayment at $6 billion.

Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia has been building up since 2013 as the country found itself amid deep political crisis. According to the latest estimates, Russia says Ukraine owes it $4.46 billion in unpaid bills, running up more debt at a rate of some $1 billion per month.

Ukraine has been driving a hard bargain in its dispute with Russia, pressing for a price of $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters, although the Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said earlier it was ready to compromise at $326.

On Monday, Russian gas giant Gazprom was forced to switch to an advance payment scheme for gas deliveries because of Ukraine’s blackmail during the negotiations. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk had earlier instructed the government and Naftogaz to prepare for cuts of Russian gas deliveries.

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