April 20, 2018 / 3:27 PM / a year ago

Gazprom seeks termination of Ukraine gas contracts in arbitration

MOSCOW, April 20 (Reuters) - Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Friday it has lodged a claim to an international arbitration seeking to cancel its supply and transit contracts with Ukraine.

It said talks with Kiev over the contracts had ended without concrete results and it had lodged a claim to a Stockholm arbitration court. The contracts are due to expire at the end of 2019.

Last month Gazprom appealed against a previous Stockholm arbitration ruling, which obliged the Kremlin-controlled company to pay Ukraine’s Naftogaz $2.65 billion following a long dispute between the companies over gas delivery.

Ukraine is a major transit country for Russian gas supplies to Europe where Gazprom accounts for around 35 percent of the gas market.

Gazprom said last month it would terminate its gas contracts with Ukraine after it lost the court case, escalating a dispute which had left Ukraine struggling to stay warm and which the European Union said could threaten gas flows to Europe.

Ukraine has not bought gas from Russia since November 2015 due to a broader political conflict between the two ex-Soviet countries following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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