KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine state oil and gas firm Naftogaz said on Tuesday a London court has granted its request to freeze the British assets of Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM), part of its efforts to enforce an earlier arbitration ruling from Sweden.
That ruling, made by the Stockholm arbitration court in February, was meant to conclude a legal battle over gas deliveries. But Naftogaz says Gazprom has not complied with the ruling, which obliged the Russian company to resume gas supplies to Ukraine at market equivalent prices and pay $2.6 billion (1.9 billion pounds).
Naftogaz has said it would go to court to seize Gazprom assets in Europe, but would not touch Russian gas transit through Ukraine.
“Within 48 hours of receiving the order (which will be deemed to occur when the courier delivers the order to Gazprom’s Moscow office), Gazprom must provide Naftogaz with a list of all its assets with a value greater than $50,000 located in England or Wales,” Naftogaz said in a statement.
It said here the ruling had been made by the Commercial Court in London on June 18.
Gazprom said on Tuesday it was aware that Naftogaz is taking efforts to make the ruling of the Stockholm court effective in Britain.
“Gazprom will continue defending its rights in accordance with the applicable legislation,” the company said in an emailed comment.
It was not clear what assets Gazprom has in England and Wales that could be affected. Gazprom Marketing and Trading here has its headquarters in London where it has more than 450 employees, according to its web site.
Earlier this month, Naftogaz said courts in the Netherlands and Switzerland had approved decisions to freeze assets of Gazprom. For its part, the Russian gas giant said it had won an interim appeals court ruling in Sweden that suspends attempts by Naftogaz to seize its foreign assets.
Naftogaz has said that it would request that the decision be reversed.
“The Swedish court ruling does not suspend the award itself, it only suspends enforcement in Sweden,” Naftogaz quoted its CEO Andriy Kobolyev as saying.
“The Transit Award remains valid, and interest continues to accrue and we will seek enforcement in jurisdictions where enforcement is an option,” he added.
Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Additional reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in London, Andrey Ostroukh and Polina Devitt in Moscow; Editing by Matthias Williams, Adrian Croft and Keith Weir