Ukraine's Justice Ministry is about to call a tender to hire foreign advisers on recovering foreign assets of Gazprom, which was fined $5.93 billion, by Ukraine's Anti-Monopoly Committee (AMCU), ukrainian UNIAN reported on January 23, 2018.
«Work is under way in this direction. Now, as far as I know, preparations continue to call a tender to hire foreign advisers, who will actually deal with this issue abroad,» Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister on Enforcement Service Serhiy Shkliar said at a press conference in response to a question from an UNIAN correspondent.
As UNIAN reported, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine in January 2016 fined Gazprom almost $2.98 billion for abuse of monopoly in the gas transit market. The decision was made as part of the government's mandate, as well as in the light of formal accusations brought by the European Commission against Gazprom over its dominant position in the market of Central and Eastern Europe, which violates EU anti-monopoly legislation.
As the fine had not been paid, the AMCU later filed a lawsuit with the Kyiv Economic Court, demanding the forcible collection of the fine and penalties (the amount of which is equivalent to the amount of the fine). The committee also insisted on Gazprom's recognition of its obligation to stop the violation of the antitrust laws in Ukraine.
The Kyiv Economic Court upheld the claim in early December 2016. At the end of February 2017, the Kyiv Economic Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Kyiv City Court, satisfying the claim of the AMCU. This made Gazprom appeal the decision.
In May 2017, the Higher Economic Court of Ukraine rejected Gazprom's appeal against the AMCU's decision to recover UAH 171.932 billion from the Russian company. After these decisions, Ukraine's Justice Ministry started to seize Gazprom's assets in Ukraine, as well as seek legal mechanisms for such seizure of the Russian company's assets abroad.
Yet, Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko announced that Gazprom did not have Ukrainian-based assets worth UAH 171 billion.