Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, paid compensation to PGNiG, a Polish gas company, for compensation for unjustifiably high prices for gas supplied by the arbitration court in Stockholm. According to the Polish company, we are talking about 1.5 billion dollars.
In March 2020, PGNiG won a lawsuit against Gazprom. The court ruled that starting in 2014, Poland paid Russian suppliers inflated prices. Therefore, Gazprom must regress lower the price and pay the difference. According to PGNiG, the companies signed an agreement to pay compensation before July 1, which was done. Now gas prices for Poland will be set by the formula, proposed by the court. Gazprom is going to fight against the court decision. The concern claims that the payment of compensation will not weaken the position of Gazprom in filing appeals.
In November last year, Poland announced that it was not going to extend the contract with Gazprom, which ends in 2022. The country is going to diversify gas supplies, including purchasing liquefied gas. In addition, Poland acquired a license from Norway for its own gas production in the North Sea.
And six months ago, in December 2019, Gazprom paid another $ 2.9 billion to the Ukrainian Naftagaz. Back in 2018, the same Stockholm arbitration decided that the Russian concern should pay Ukrainians $ 2.6 billion. A year of red tape cost Gazprom an additional $ 300 million. This compensation was paid as a result of the signing of a new agreement on the supply of Russian gas to Europe. Naftagaz hoped for a 10-year contact, but the contract was signed for 5 years. Transit volumes have also declined. Instead of 90 billion cubic meters of gas, only 65 will go through labor, and next year the volume will be reduced to another 40 billion cubic meters. The parties came to an agreement under pressure from Europeans, primarily Germany, which feared interruptions in gas supplies in the winter.
But payments to Poland and Ukraine may not be Gazprom’s latest troubles. Alexander Lukashenko is also outraged by the predatory prices of the Russian monopolist in relation to his country and demands a price reduction. True, in this case it is not clear whether the Old Man will decide to go to the end and sue Russia. He has elections in August. As an experienced player, the Belarusian president will keep this card up his sleeve. So far, the Belarusian presidential company has been quiet after the unrest in early June. If there is no political aggravation, gas differences will be resolved behind the scenes. And no one will know what the true price Belarus will pay for gas, and for the fact that Lukashenko will remain in power again.
And Gazprom continues to solve state problems through its capitalization. Since 2008, shares in ruble terms have fallen in price twice, and in dollars, taking into account the growth of the rate by three times, by seven times. So the national treasure is in danger.