The Russian energy giant Gazprom, which has a monopoly on the export of Russian natural gas to Europe, and the Slovak gas utility SPP have agreed an out-of-court settlement for damages that SPP suffered during a suspension of gas supplies in January last year, a Russian newspaper has reported. The so-called ‘gas war’ between Russia and Ukraine in January 2009 left Europe without Russian natural gas for about two weeks.
The newspaper, RBC Daily, reported via its internet page, as quoted by the SITA newswire, that Gazprom has agreed to settle the deal by consenting to a decrease in the amount of gas it supplies at fixed prices to SPP. According to a source close to the negotiations, the Russian company agreed to cut the volume of gas supplied to Slovakia under take-or-pay contracts by 10 percent for the next two years, after which the volume will rise by 5 percent (from the reduced level) for the following four years. This is expected to cost Gazprom about USD180 million per year, the newspaper reported, but will allow the company to avoid an unwanted legal precedent.
Slovakia was hit hard by the January 2009 gas crisis, in which a dispute over payment for gas between Ukraine and Gazprom led the Russian government to order that all gas supplies passing through Ukraine be suspended. As a result, Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, and Romania were all left without direct supplies of Russian gas. Slovakia would normally have been supplied with 300 million cubic metres of Russian gas worth nearly USD 100 million during the period.
SPP declined to comment on the reported deal, SITA reported.
For more information on this issue, please see: Slovakia prepared for potential gas crisis.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
30. Mar 2010 at 14:00