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Russia's energy chief puzzled by Stockholm court’s decision on Gazprom-Naftogaz dispute

"It's a strange decision", Alexander Novak has said
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak
© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak called the decision of Stockholm Arbitration Institution in the gas dispute between Gazprom and Naftogaz strange.

Under that decision, Gazprom is obliged to pay $2.56 bln to the Ukrainian company for the shortfall in gas deliveries.

"Judging by what I see in the media, I do not know how appropriate it is to comment on the media - they have not seen the verdict either. Apparently, it's a strange decision, when in case of gas transit they do not take into account the arguments they do take into account when it concerns gas supplies, "Novak told reporters.

On February 28, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce imposed a $2.56-billion penalty on Russian energy giant Gazprom over its gas transit dispute with Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz.

Gazprom disagreed with the ruling and voiced its intention "to protect the rights which are available to it under the applicable law."

In this regard, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said that Kiev will seek to seize Gazprom's assets if the Russian party does not comply with the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration.

On February 29, Gazprom returned the money Naftogaz paid for gas supplies in March and said that would not start them due to the lack of the approved supplementary agreement to the current contract.

Naftogaz CEO Andrey Kobolev took this as the refusal of Gazprom to comply with the court's decisions. He also said due to lack of gas supplies from Russia Ukraine has faced a gas deficit and needs to limit fuel consumption in the country since March 6.