OREANDA-NEWS  Bulgarian state-owned gas distributor Bulgargaz (Bulgargaz) has filed a lawsuit against Gazprom for damages of 400 million euros in connection with the termination of gas supplies in 2022, local media reported, citing the company's message.

The lawsuit was filed on July 8 at the International Arbitration Court at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.

In May, Bulgargaz warned that it would try to receive compensation from Gazprom Export LLC directly, and if negotiations were unsuccessful, a lawsuit would be filed with arbitration.

On March 31, 2022, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree "On a special procedure for foreign buyers to fulfill their obligations to Russian natural gas suppliers." According to the document, payment for pipeline gas supplied after April 1 to foreign contractors specified in the decree must be made exclusively in rubles. To do this, Gazprombank opens special ruble and foreign currency accounts of the "K" type for foreign buyers. A foreign buyer pays for gas in the currency of the contract, GPB converts it into rubles and transfers them to Gazprom. It is at this point that the obligation to pay for a natural resource is considered fulfilled. If the condition is not fulfilled, deliveries are stopped.

Sofia was one of the first to abandon the new system. Bulgargaz saw "significant risks for Bulgaria in the new payment procedure, including in terms of making payments without receiving any gas supplies from the Russian side."

Bulgarian officials have previously expressed doubts about the effectiveness of litigation with Gazprom, analyzing not only the prospects of victory, but also loss in arbitration proceedings. It was also reported about the intention to continue receiving Russian gas under the existing contract.

The EU authorities have included bans on the provision of legal services to Russian companies in the packages of anti-Russian sanctions. According to Moscow, this makes it impossible to carry out a fair trial on the territory of the EU countries.

Russian courts have already issued a number of decisions banning Gazprom's European counterparties from conducting proceedings in foreign courts and arbitration institutions.