"We are surprised by Gazprom's stance. The company billed the contract as amended by the Tribunal. The bill was paid. We regard Gazprom's refusal to supply [gas] as a breach of the contract and failure to comply with the arbitration award. We are buying gas because we are executing the arbitration award," Naftohaz CEO Andrii Koboliev said.
According to him, by not supplying prepaid gas, Gazprom is hindering the fulfillment of Naftogaz's obligations to purchase the minimum contract volumes.
"For four years of buying gas from European suppliers, we have not found ourselves in a situation when we had to worry about whether we would get gas for which we have paid," he said.
"Today's statement by Gazprom is another reason for European counterparts to consider whether to rely on the contractor who can bill you, get money and refuse to supply gas, and whether it is worth allowing this contractor to strengthen its already strong positions in their market thanks to the construction of the North Stream 2," Koboliev said.
Earlier, Gazprom received advanced payment from Naftohaz Ukrainy for gas supplies in March but transferred the money back. "Evidently, there will be no gas supplies to Naftohaz Ukrainy beginning on March 1," Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said.
Stockholm arbitration ruled Feb. 28 that Naftohaz be paid $4.63 billion. Following two arbitration proceedings, Gazprom owes $2.56 billion.