New Russia-Ukraine natural gas dispute: a lot of noise for nothing?

Relations between Russia and Ukraine in the gas sector have been infamously strained for more than a decade, with the memory of the cut in supplies to Europe in both 2006 and 2009 still fresh in people’s minds. There was a brief period of relative stability in the past two years while the Stockholm arbitration court considered its verdict in the dispute over the 2009 Gazprom/Naftogaz supply and transit deal. But the dispute erupted again last week after the court ruled in Naftogaz’s favor on the transit element of the case, awarding Naftogaz $4.6 billion in compensation for Gazprom’s underuse of its transit network. The net award to Naftogaz was $2.6 billion across the entire case after the court previously awarded Gazprom a little over $2 billion in the supply ruling. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller accused the court of “double standards” in its arguments and vowed to both appeal against the court’s rulings and to cancel the contract altogether, saying it wasn’t Gazprom’s responsibility to solve Ukraine’s economic problems. Ukraine hit back, its President Petro Poroshenko saying Gazprom was clearly “unwilling” to fulfill its contractual obligations and accusing the Russian company of blackmail. The tit-for-tats at times made for pretty… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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