The statement made by PJSC Gazprom (Russian Federation) on the evening of 27 September, threatening imposition of Russian sanctions against Naftogaz and suspension of financial transactions in response to the arbitration initiated by Naftogaz, is another example of disregard for the rule of law. This statement proves once again that Gazprom is and has for years been an instrument of the Russian Federation’s illegal aggressive war against Ukraine.
Moreover, Gazprom turns the relevant facts of Gazprom's claim upside down. The fact is that Naftogaz has invoked Force Majeure in respect of transit through entry point Sokhanovka because it is controlled by Russian armed forces, and instead offered transit through entry point Sudzha at no additional cost. Naftogaz has therefore provided the required services, but Gazprom has refused to make use of the services. Contrary to Gazprom's allegation, Gazprom cannot rely on the Force Majeure invoked by Naftogaz to escape its payment obligation.
The implementation of sanctions by Sweden and Switzerland over Russia's aggression against Ukraine evidently does not in any way affect the contents and application of the relevant laws, nor the impartial conduct of the arbitration by independent arbitrators appointed by both Parties. The arbitration will proceed to an award irrespective of Gazprom's participation.
Under the agreement, Gazprom has accepted the right of Naftogaz to refer disputes to arbitration. When Naftogaz exercises this right, it is simply a regular exercise of a contractual right, and not an "unfriendly act". Gazprom's threat of Russian sanctions against Naftogaz's legitimate exercise of this right only proves Gazprom’s association with Russian state and puts in jeopardy the entire international regime for peaceful settlement of disputes to which Russia is a party under the New York Convention of 1958.