Temporary Ruling on Russian Gas

Temporary Ruling on Russian GasTemporary Ruling on Russian Gas

The Kiev government may request the international arbitration court in Stockholm to issue a temporary ruling on terms of Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine pending a final verdict, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Wednesday.

“We have two variants for solving this problem. The first variant is to have a common energy policy with the European Union in order to sign a temporary agreement on gas deliveries until the Stockholm arbitration court finally settles the dispute between Naftogaz and Gazprom,” he was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

“The second variant is as follows: if no such agreement is reached within the framework of the three-way talks, in which Ukraine and the European Union share a common stance and Russia is the third side, then Ukraine will request a court to issue a temporary ruling, setting a temporary price and delivery conditions for natural gas until the Stockholm court delivers its final verdict,” he continued.

In June, Gazprom was forced to introduce a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine due to Kiev's massive debt which is currently estimated at $5.3 billion. Following the move, Ukraine’s Naftogaz filed a lawsuit with Stockholm arbitration court requesting to review its gas contract with Gazprom. The company in particular is seeking to reduce the price for natural gas and to recover some $6 billion from Gazprom it claims to have overpaid since 2010.

Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission are currently involved in trilateral talks on resolving the standing issues over Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine.

The sides have been negotiating the date of the next meeting for the past few days, as Kiev is unsatisfied with the "winter package" proposed by Moscow and the European Commission during a ministerial gas meeting held in Berlin on September 26.

Ukraine wants to agree the debt repayment schedule, as well as terms and schedules of future gas deliveries and insists on amending the current gas contract with Russia in order to formally authorize reverse deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine from Europe.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russia’s Minister of Energy Aleksander Novak said that the date of the next Russia-Ukraine-European Union gas talks may be announced “in the next day or two.” Novak also added that Russia is ready to meet on any proposed day, but the date should be agreed by all sides.