The Russian gas company has opened a new front of judicial confrontation with Kiev, and this time in the Square. Gazprom filed a complaint to Ukraine’s Supreme court, demanding to cancel the fine to $6.7 billion, imposed on him by the Ukrainian Antimonopoly office. Experts recognize that the judicial system of the country, whose authorities officially call Russia an aggressor is unlikely to make a decision on this case in favor of “Gazprom”. However, to use the verdict in their favor Kiev will not. Gas holding no Ukraine assets, which may be arrested in the repayment of these claims. And if Kiev will select Russian gas transit through the Ukraine, then it will fall out of the claims of European countries — buyers of fuel.
photo: Natalia Gubernatorova
Despite the fact that in the international judicial instances of legal disputes of Russia and Ukraine on gas issues deals with without delay and often in favor of our side when it comes to Ukrainian legal system “Gazprom” runs into various troubles. In may, when the company already tried to challenge the penalty that the antitrust penalty, the Supreme economic court of Kiev has rejected the Russian complaint. In August, Gazprom tried again to appeal the penalties in the Supreme court of Ukraine, but he considered that the Russian company “had violated the article of the economic procedural code”, and gave the monopoly days to address the deficiencies in the statement. On request “MK” to clarify, followed by whether this clarification was filed a new complaint in “Gazprom” did not answer.
Recall that the essence of this dispute is as follows. In 2015, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) has fined a Russian company for $3.2 billion over alleged “abuse of monopoly position on the market of transit of gas in 2009-2015”. Experts called this decision is quite strange, because in addition to Gazprom, other companies, operating the Ukrainian gas transportation system was almost non-existent. Meanwhile, to cancel it through the Ukrainian courts “Gazprom”, which insisted that it does not conduct business in Ukraine and sells gas to Naftogaz on Russian-Ukrainian border, failed. In the fall of 2016 AMCU demanded through the Kyiv Economic court to collect from the Russian company not only fine, but also interest. The amount of the claim, thus, increased to $6.7 billion.
According to the head of the Collegium of advocates “starinsky, Cartago and partners” Eugene Cartago, expected to win the Russian gas company on this process is not necessary, as the decision of the Supreme Court of Ukraine may be politically motivated. However, the real prejudice to the activities of “Gazprom” such decision will not cause. To confirm the legality of the foreclosure of the property of the Russian monopoly, Ukraine will have to coordinate their actions in international courts.
As suggested by the Deputy head of the analytical Department of “Alpari” Anna Kokoreva, it is obvious that any decision of the Ukrainian court, not likely to be objective. The appeal is unlikely to change anything — the complaint will be dismissed, or the court finds it groundless.
However, the actions of “Gazprom” is the logic. “The filing of a complaint is a formal procedure in a procedure, after which the Commission can apply to the international court. I think that “Gazprom” counts on the sanity of the Ukrainian court, thus preparing the base for maneuvers in the European judicial space. The decision of the Supreme court of Ukraine may be appealed to the higher international courts and losing in the local Ukrainian court for “Gazprom” doesn’t mean anything,” — said the expert.
Confirmation of the fact that the negative decision of the Ukrainian Themis regarding the collection of fines does not carry catastrophic character, is the fact that “Gazprom” does not exist on the territory of the Square of assets, the cost of which is adequate to the size of Kiev”s demands.
In turn, to select Russian gas transit continues to be exported through Ukraine towards the EU, Kiev has no right. This fuel is contracted in the international agreements of Gazprom with European countries. Such an act must also be approved by the court in international arbitrations. “Otherwise there is the risk of a major international scandal”, — said Eugene, Cartago.