Zerkal to represent Naftogaz in international arbitration, litigation against Gazprom

As Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zerkal was also involved in efforts to block construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Olena Zerkal / Photo from UNIAN

Olena Zerkal / Photo from UNIAN

Olena Zerkal, an adviser to NJSC Naftogaz’s CEO, has been appointed to lead Naftogaz’s international arbitration, litigation and enforcement proceedings against the Russian Federation and its gas giant Gazprom.

The relevant functions were assigned to Zerkal as part of the ongoing organizational transformation of the Naftogaz group, Naftogaz said on its website on May 14.

“My new role at Naftogaz is crucial for both the company and Ukraine. It reflects our long-term ambitions to integrate the country into global markets while establishing a better business environment and greater energy security.

Work on existing litigation and arbitration proceedings will not only continue but will be accelerated,” Zerkal assured.

Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary Olena Zerkal has 25 years of legal experience in both the public and private sectors.

In 2014-2019, as Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zerkal was responsible for European integration issues including visa liberalization with the EU. She represented Ukraine in the International Court of Justice and arbitration proceedings against Russia concerning a range of issues including sponsorship of terrorism, racial discrimination, and Russia’s breach of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and wrongful arrest of Ukrainian naval vessels and their crewmen.

For two years, Zerkal was part of the Ukrainian negotiating team on post-2019 Russian gas transit to Europe and actively participated in trilateral Ukraine-EU-Russia talks regarding the so-called Winter Packages concluded for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 heating seasons.

As Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zerkal was also involved in efforts to block construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Zerkal was appointed an adviser to NJSC Naftogaz’s CEO in January.

(C)UNIAN 2020

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