Ukraine's Naftogaz says will not pay $5.3 billion sought by Gazprom for gas

A man walks past the headquarters of the Ukrainian national joint stock company NaftoGaz in central Kiev, Ukraine, March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's Naftogaz will not pay a $5.3 billion gas bill from Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM until their long-running dispute in an arbitration court in Stockholm over gas contracts is resolved, Naftogaz said on Wednesday.

Gazprom said on Tuesday it had charged Naftogaz for gas it did not buy under a take-or-pay clause covering the second through fourth quarter of 2016. It said Ukraine was required to pay the bill within 10 days.

“The applicability of the take-or-pay principle is currently (being) reviewed by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce within the arbitration proceedings between Naftogaz and Gazprom initiated in 2014,” Naftogaz said.

“Naftogaz is not paying the invoice until the final decision in the arbitration.”

Take-or-pay requirements require buyers to pay for gas whether they take physical delivery or not. Ukraine has not bought Russian gas since November 2015.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Jason Neely