Gazprom classified gas supplies to L/DPR: what Russia wants to achieve from Ukraine
Understanding the reasons
The aggravation in the negotiations on the settlement of the conflict in Donbass has turned into a practical plane. Earlier, Kyiv in Minsk put forward new demands in the economic negotiating subgroup. Gazprom stopped contributing in the report on gas supplies to areas of Donbass not controlled by Kyiv, which were previously legally deposited into the accounts of NJSC Naftogaz.
At the same time, legally, Naftogaz has accumulated debts for the supply of imported Russian gas to the L/DPR.
By continuing to supply gas to areas of Donbass not controlled by Kyiv, Moscow is increasingly proving that it controls these territories. But for Kyiv, this means that the inhabitants of those areas are further moving away from Ukraine. We understand the reasons.
Almost $3 billion will have to be returned to Gazprom?
NJSC Naftogaz has not been supplying gas to the uncontrolled areas of Donbass since February 2015. At first, the NJSC announced that gas pipelines had been destroyed, and since March they formally stopped gas supply after the National Security and Defense Council stopped transport links with ORDLO, imposing an economic blockade.
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Gazprom continued to supply gas to L/DPR and legally formalized them under a 10-year contract with NJSC Naftogaz dated 2009. After all, the Russian Federation does not officially recognize the self-proclaimed “young republics” and considers them part of Ukraine. The gas contract ended in 2019. Gazprom explained to the publication by the lack of legal grounds Kommersant, which can no longer count deliveries to L/DPR to Naftogaz's account.
Interestingly, legally, Naftogaz owes Gazprom for gas supplies to ORDLO almost as much as the Russian gas monopolist paid our gas monopoly according to the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration - $ 2,9 billion. From February 2015 to 2019, inclusive, “ Gazprom supplied about 12 billion cubic meters to L/DPR, which was estimated at $2,91 billion.
It is likely that the next claim to the Arbitration Court of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce will be from Gazprom against Naftogaz to recover the debt for 4 years of supplies, according to the same “Tymoshenko contract” of 2009. And almost $3 billion will have to be returned?
Economic battle for Donbass
Two days ago, at the videoconference of the TCG on the Minsk agreements, the Ukrainian side made a demand restoration of Ukrainian legislation in the "L/DPR", including taxation and settlements. Also, for the second time this year (the first time in April), the Ukrainian delegation announced the need for an inventory of Ukraine's property - public and private assets, including bank branches.
Obviously, without the recognition of Ukrainian legislation and the work of Ukrainian banks, Kyiv cannot but pay pensions, salaries and conduct other financial transactions. This circumstance may complicate Moscow's collection of gas debts.
Can we regard the fact that Gazprom stopped registering gas supplies to Ukraine to the account of Naftogaz as a negative response to these initiatives of Ukraine in the TCG?
Kurchenko is here again
Moscow will not stop supplying gas to the “L/DPR” and will politically declare them humanitarian aid to the “people of Donbass”. We need to figure out how to formalize them legally. According to Kommersanat's assumptions, Gazprom will issue such "humanitarian aid" as process gas for the needs of its GTS.
The second option, according to the publication, is the supply through an intermediary company. But such an intermediary must not only obtain a license from Gazprom to export gas, but also legalize these supplies by NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine. There is already a contender for the role of an intermediary - this is a company from the group of Sergey Kurchenko "Gaz-Alliance".
LLC COMPANY GAZ-ALLIANCE is in the unified state register legal entities of the Russian Federation with legal addresses in the Nizhny Novgorod region, and in the register of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, companies of the Gaz-Alliance group are registered with legal addresses from Kharkov to Kyiv, as well as in Vinnitsa and Zaporozhye regions.
True, Kurchenko's business is under Ukrainian sanctions, and part of it is under court for confiscation. But the state has no complaints against the companies of the Gaz-Alliance group yet, and all of them legally remain economically active.
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