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Gazprom does not rule out unauthorized intake of gas by Ukraine due to court decision

VIENNA, December 14. /TASS/. Ukraine may start unauthorized intake of Russian gas as part of the decision by the Kiev court on Gazprom’s antimonopoly fine, CEO of Gazprom Alexei Miller said.

"We have grounds to think it was not a coincidence that the Kiev court made such a decision because it enables Ukraine to make certain plans. You know, that Gazprom was fined $3.34 bln and with late penalties this amount is already $6.68 bln," he told reporters.

Miller also reminded that according to the court’s decision Ukraine has the right to enforce Gazprom pay the fine.

"We do not have any assets in Ukraine except for in the pipe. If they put it this way, that actually means that they may take our gas, which is intended for European consumers," Miller said.

Miller said that the Russian party had informed the European Commission and the Ministers of the European countries importers of Russian gas about its take on the court decision.

"In our opinion this decision provides a basis for unauthorized gas intake, which definitely carries risks for supplies of (Russian) gas to the European market," he said.

At the same time Miller noted that currently Ukraine does not buy Russian gas. 

Ukraine won’t intake Russia’s transit gas to secure the decision of Economic court of Kiev on the antimonopoly fine of Gazprom. Ukraine’s Energy Minister Igor Nasalik has assured.

"We will fully meet our obligations on transit of Russian gas. If we intake gas intended for transit, we will violate our obligations," he said.

In January 2016, the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine fined Gazprom 85.966 billion hryvnia (about $3.4 billion) "for the abuse of the monopoly position" on the market of natural gas transit through the Ukrainian gas transportation system in 2009-2015. The notice of the decision taken by the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine was sent to Gazprom on February 12.

The date of fulfilment of the demand expired on May 4. Gazprom disputed the decision of UAMC but the court rejected the appeal. All higher courts of Ukraine refused to uphold Gazprom’s complaint to declare the return of the appeal as illegal.

On December 5, the economic court of Kiev fully sustained the claim of Ukraine’s Antimonopoly Committee to Russia’s gas producer Gazprom.

The antitrust regulator requested to recover a $3.4 bln fine from Gazprom and penalties in the same amount "for monopoly abuse on the market of natural gas transit through the Ukrainian gas transmission system.

Russia, the EU and Ukraine discussed supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine and its transit to the EU this winter at a meeting in Brussels on December 9 but the talks did not result in any concrete agreements.

The parties agreed to continue contacts. In particular Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine are to holds consultations that will concern purchases of additional 1.504 blm cubic meters of Russian gas.