German energy company Uniper says a tribunal awarded it billions in damages from Russia’s Gazprom

BERLIN (AP) — German energy company Uniper said Wednesday that a tribunal has awarded it more than 13 billion euros (nearly $14 billion) in damages for gas that Russia’s Gazprom hasn’t supplied since 2022.

Uniper said the arbitration tribunal based in Stockholm also ruled on June 7 that it has the right to terminate long-term gas supply contracts with state-owned Gazprom Export, and it is now formally ending the relationship.

The German government nationalized Uniper at the end of 2022 after Russia cut gas supplies to the country. Before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the company bought about half of its gas from Russia, which started cutting deliveries to Germany in June 2022 and stopped supplying it with gas altogether later that summer.

Uniper incurred huge costs as a result of those cuts because it was forced to buy gas at far higher market prices to meet its supply contract obligations, and announced in November 2022 that it had initiated proceedings against Gazprom at the tribunal in Stockholm.

Uniper said the ruling by the tribunal is legally binding and final, but indicated that it’s doubtful that the compensation will actually be paid.

“Any amounts would flow to the German federal government,” CEO Michael Lewis said in a statement. “From today’s perspective, it is not yet clear whether significant amounts are to be expected.”

Some of Uniper’s contracts with Gazprom would have remained in force until the mid-2030s if they weren’t terminated.

Gazprom in 2022 cited technical problems as the reason for reducing gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea, an explanation that German officials rejected as a cover for a political power play following the invasion of Ukraine.

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