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Gazprom signs settlement agreement with Ukraine in investment arbitration

The move opens the way for concluding long-term gas transportation agreements between Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz, Ukraine’s deputy minister of justice believes

KIEV, December 30. /TASS/. Gazprom and Ukraine have signed a settlement agreement in investment arbitration, which opens the way for concluding long-term gas transportation contracts, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Justice Ivan Leshchina said on Monday.

"Ukraine and Gazprom are signing a settlement agreement in investment arbitration," he wrote on Facebook, posting a photograph of the document that is inked by Gazprom’s representative Elena Burmistrova and Ukrainian Minister of Justice Denis Malyuska.

The deputy minister did not elaborate on the details of the transaction, saying only that "Russia withdraws its claims," while Ukraine "does not violate its rule not to conclude amicable agreements in investment arbitration, under which Ukraine would have to pay any compensation to an investor."

The official added that "the signing of the agreement paves the way for concluding long-term gas transportation agreements between Naftogaz and Gazprom, Ukraine has been striving for."

On December 28, the Ukrainian government approved signing of an amicable agreement with Gazprom. The amicable agreement settles the claims of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine against Russia's Gazprom amounting to around $7 bln. Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier this week that the sides would sign an amicable agreement on December 29, after which all claims would be withdrawn and attachments of Gazprom’s property in Europe would be lifted.

On December 20, Moscow and Kiev announced that a new gas transit contract was agreed for the term of five years, and that mutual settlements between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine were settled. The parties agreed to waive new mutual claims and withdraw existing mutual claims. Gazprom was to pay around $2.9 bln to Naftogaz by the year-end under the decision made by the Stockholm Arbitration. Moreover, an amicable settlement was agreed on antitrust proceedings against Gazprom in Ukraine. On Friday, Gazprom reported that the amount had been paid to Naftogaz.

As part of the agreement, Gazprom is to sign an inter-operator agreement with the Ukrainian gas transportation system’s operator (GTS), and a transport agreement for booking capacities of the GTS of Ukraine with Naftogaz of Ukraine.

Naftogaz will act as the transit organizer, thereby taking on the risks of the transition period. According to the agreement, the minimum gas pumping volume will be 65 bln cubic meters in 2020 and 40 bln cubic meters annually in the period 2021-2024. Russia and Ukraine have been in talks on gas transit for several days in Vienna.