Natural Gas World | 22 May 2018
Hague court hears Naftogaz case against Russia
by William Powell
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague May 17 closed four days of oral hearings on the jurisdiction and merits of a case initiated by seven companies of Ukraine’s Naftogaz Group against the Russian Federation over alleged breaches in the Russia-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty, Naftogaz said May 18 and May 21 in English.
The question of damages will be considered during the second phase of the proceedings, after the first arbitral award on jurisdiction and the merits is rendered. This is expected in Q1 2019.
Naftogaz and six subsidiaries — Chornomornaftogaz, Ukrtransgaz, Ukrgazvydobuvannya, Ukrtransnafta, Likvo, and Gas of Ukraine — submitted a statement to the tribunal last September claiming compensation for damages caused by the Russian Federation’s illegal expropriation of the Group’s assets in Crimea, where they have storage assets, a gas transport and supply business and offshore production.
Over the weekend, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin formally opened the 12-mile bridge to the Crimea from Russia across the Black Sea, allowing road access to the peninsula without crossing Ukraine territory, leading a cavalcade of brightly-coloured lorries. They were followed by a stream of motorbikes and cars flying the Russian flag.