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KIEV, July 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce will begin hearings on Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia’s Gazprom shortly, Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO Andriy Kobolev said on Wednesday.
“We hope that these procedures (for resolving formalities) will be completed in the next few weeks and merit hearings will begin,” he said, adding that “there is no understanding” as to whether Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom can come to a mutually acceptable agreement on gas supplies and the price of Russian gas.
Following the failure of the gas talks, Gazprom switched to prepayment mode in trade with Ukraine and filed a lawsuit in Stockholm, seeking to collect a debt of $4.5 billion.
Naftogaz of Ukraine, in turn, presented its own lawsuit on the same day, seeking to revise the current gas contract with Gazprom and demanding that the Russian company return $6 billion overpaid by Ukraine for gas since 2010.
Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Prodan said earlier that Kiev’s position on the payment of its debt to Russia had not changed, "We will pay it immediately as soon as we come to agreement on the price”.
“If no agreement is reached, the Stockholm Arbitration (Institute) will have the final say,” he added.