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The Commercial court in London today gave long-awaited orders to freeze assets of Gazprom in the UK for payment to Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz to settle a recent Stockholm Arbitration award.
“Naftogaz today served Gazprom with an order to freeze assets in England and Wales. The order was issued by the Commercial Court in London on June 18, 2018 to enforce the Stockholm arbitration award, whereby Gazprom owes Naftogaz $2.6 bln. In addition to freezing assets, it requires Gazprom to provide Naftogaz with a list of all assets with a value greater than $50,000 located in England or Wales,” according to the press release from Naftogaz, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
The court also stated it could grant more time to Gazprom to compile this list, but if Gazprom refuses to do this it may face fines or other sanctions, according to the statement. The court also imposed a number of restrictions with regard to a possible change in the value of assets of the Russian company in these countries, wrote TASS.
The issue of payment to Kyiv for gas transit from Russia, through Ukraine to Europe, as well as Ukrainian payments to Gazprom for gas used, as the two countries fight a war in East Ukraine, has grown in significance, showing a move towards economic and legal warfare to settle disputes.