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    Gazprom Refutes Naftogaz's Claims of Nord Stream Shares Seizure by Swiss Court

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - An upper court in Switzerland's Zug canton has ruled to resume the arrest of assets of Russian energy giant Gazprom, Naftogaz Ukraine said earlier.

    Claims of Ukraine's Naftogaz regarding the resumption of the seizure of the Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG shares by a Swiss court are untrue, the court only suspended exclusion of the shares from the list of assets subject to interim measures, Russian energy giant Gazprom said in a statement.

    "The statement of Ukraine's Naftogaz saying that a court of the Canton of Zug (Switzerland) has resumed the seizure of the Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG shares is untrue. According to the information obtained by Gazprom, on June 29, 2018, the Swiss court suspended the exclusion of the Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG shares from the certificates on the imposition of interim measures against Gazprom's assets in these companies," the statement read.

    Naftogaz noted that the assets were previously unfrozen based solely on claims by Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 that they were located beyond Zug and thus out of legal reach of debt collectors.

    READ MORE: Polish Audit Office Finds Violations in 2009-2010 Gov't Talks With Gazprom

    The initial asset freeze took place earlier this year when Naftogaz tried to reclaim the over $2.5 billion it claims it is owned by Gazprom in compensation for a breach of contractual obligations that took place in 2014 when Gazprom switched Ukraine to a prepayment system for the latter's failure to repay its massive gas debt.

    The amount was announced after arbitration proceedings when Naftogaz appealed to the Arbitration Court in Stockholm to retroactively revise its 2009-2019 gas transit contract with Russia in accordance with Gazprom's new "take or pay" rule.

    In February 2018, the Stockholm arbitration court ordered Gazprom to pay $2.56 billion in compensation to the Ukrainian company over the 2014 breach of contractual obligations. Gazprom appealed, and the execution of the ruling was suspended, with the suspension subsequently upheld despite a Ukrainian appeal.

    READ MORE: Gazprom Has Plan in Place If Denmark Tries to Stop Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

    Ukraine reacted by going down the path of reclaiming the $2.56 billion via asset freezes in Switzerland, the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom, pending further court decisions, and insisting that the suspension concerns only Sweden.

    The Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute has sparked concerns in the European Union about the stability of gas transit through Ukraine. In turn, Russia has been working on building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany in order to ease reliance on Ukraine as a transit country.

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    pipeline, gas, Nord Stream 2, Naftogaz, Gazprom, Ukraine, Russia
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