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    Naftogaz Expects Stockholm Ruling on Russia-Ukraine Gas Claims by End of May

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    Ukraine's Naftogaz expects that the Stockholm arbitration will rule on the dispute with Russian Gazprom energy giant later in May, Naftogaz's commercial director, Yuri Vitrenko said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On April 27, Gazprom said that it expected the Stockholm arbitration to make the decision regarding the issues of gas supplies to Ukraine and transit dispute on June 30. However, previous Gazprom's report indicated that the court's decision on gas supplies to Ukraine was expected to be made by April 30, while the decision on transit case would come by June 30.

    "Now we expect that the decision of the arbitration tribunal on gas contract will be taken in May. The delay is obviously caused by the fact that the tribunal needed more time to take the decision," Vitrenko wrote on his Facebook.

    Ukraine is a key country for transit of Russian gas to Europe, however, the two states have been engaged in gas disputes for years. In June 2014, Gazprom switched Ukraine to a prepayment system for gas supplies, citing the country’s massive gas debt. The so-called "take or pay" rule obliges Ukraine to pay for the volume of gas specified in the contract regardless of the real volume of purchases. Naftogaz immediately appealed to the Arbitration Court in Stockholm to retroactively revise its 2009-2019 gas transit contract with Russia.

    Most of Gazprom's claims to Naftogaz within the gas supplies dispute are about the fines for lack of gas purchases in accordance with the "take or pay" rule.

    In October 2015, Naftogaz said that it was stopping gas purchases from Gazprom, citing their high prices and stating that any decision to continue to import gas would depend on prices. However, Kiev continues buying transit gas from the European Union and topped its reserves up with gas from Europe, leading to an overall drop in stored gas volumes.

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