March 4. 2024. 10:37

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Czech energy giant ČEZ sues Gazprom for not delivering enough gas


Energy company ČEZ initiated an arbitration case against Russia’s Gazprom for delivering less natural gas supplies than initially promised in 2022, for which it is seeking to recover €42 million in damages.

The arbitration is to the case will be settled by a three-member arbitral tribunal sitting in Geneva, ČEZ informed. There is a chance ČEZ could be awarded with compensation if it proves Gazprom did not comply with the contract, according to Czech experts.

Because Russia has ratified the so-called New York Convention on international arbitration,“Gazprom’s assets in foreign countries can potentially be seized”, Petr Tomášek from the Faculty of Law of Charles University told the Czech News Agency.

“However, such a possibility is rather unlikely for assets located in Russia,” Tomášek added.

Still, it is possible for Gazprom to argue that it is impossible for it to honour the contract due to EU sanctions or another “greater force”, like gas pipeline explosions, he added.

Gazprom has the world’s largest natural gas reserves and boasts a monopoly on the export of this strategically important raw material from Russia through a network of pipelines. According to ČEZ, the deliveries of gas were unstable even before the EU sanctions were imposed.

Gazprom is facing another arbitration case, as two German companies – Uniper and RWE – decided to sue at the end of the last year.

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Czechia was heavily dependent on Russian gas imports, though this completely changed in the past eight months. As EURACTIV.cz reported before, the country reduced its dependency from 97% to 3-4%.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)