March 21, 2019 / 5:38 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-British court suspends Gazprom-Naftogaz case pending Swedish outcome

(Adds Naftogaz comments)

MOSCOW/KIEV, March 21 (Reuters) - The British High Court has suspended its case in a dispute between Russia’s Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz until an appeal process at a Swedish court is complete, Gazprom said in a statement on Thursday.

The London court had granted a request by the Ukrainian state oil and gas firm to freeze the British assets of Gazprom to enforce an earlier arbitration ruling from Sweden.

Naftogaz said in a separate statement that despite the case suspension, the court had told Gazprom not to withdraw its assets from the jurisdictions of England and the Netherlands.

“Gazprom is obliged within 28 days from the time the request is granted to provide cash collateral to the court account or escrow account of one of the London banks as a guarantee of compliance with the court requirements,” Naftogaz added.

Kiev and Moscow have been in a complex dispute over gas for years. This came to a head when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 when its pro-Russian president was toppled.

In 2018, the Stockholm court ordered Gazprom to pay more than $2.5 billion to Naftogaz over a different contractual dispute, but Gazprom appealed the ruling. (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow Additional reporting by Natalia Zinets in Kiev Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Alexander Smith)

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