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Fortum unequivocally rejects Vestas claim of Russian sanctions breach – commercial contract breach by Vestas now in ICC arbitration

12 April 2023, 17:04 EEST


Fortum will vigorously defend itself against false claims by former business partner Vestas that it flouted sanctions against Russia in a commercial dispute between the two Nordic companies. Fortum is currently pursuing ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) arbitration in Stockholm against Vestas. The arbitration relates to a dispute about contractual breaches in connection with former wind park projects in Russia. Both companies entered the contract before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and before 2022 energy related sanctions against Russia were in place.  

The commercial dispute concerns projects to build several wind parks with more than 50 wind turbines in Russia for which Fortum had already made sizeable advance payments to Vestas. Vestas did not deliver on its contractual obligations and yet refused to repay the advance payments and other project-related costs. Fortum engaged in multiple discussions and negotiations with Vestas during several months with the goal to find a mutually acceptable solution. As the negotiations were not successful, Fortum was left with no other option than to resort to arbitration.  

“As in all business partnerships, Fortum values cooperation and transparency, and has been ready to find a reasonable solution that is acceptable to both parties. As this has not been possible, we believe ICC arbitration is a fair way to settle this commercial dispute based on the facts,“ says Nora Steiner-Forsberg, General Counsel, Fortum. “We are at a loss to understand why our long-standing business partner Vestas would suddenly question our adherence to EU sanctions in this case. There is absolutely no doubt about Fortum’s commitment to upholding and defending EU laws, EU sanctions, and ultimately EU unity,” says Steiner-Forsberg.  

Fortum complies with all applicable laws including EU sanctions and has a sanctions compliance programme in place to ensure that. In May 2022, Fortum announced that it started a controlled exit from the Russian market, with a divestment of its Russian operations as the preferred path. The divestment process has progressed and is ongoing, but requires approval by the Russian authorities. 

Fortum will not comment further on contractual details that are under arbitration. 

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