Gazprom warns sanctions could hit gas exports to Europe

Gas supply station near Kiev Image copyright AFP
Image caption Gazprom has increased Ukraine's gas prices by about 80% since February

Russian natural gas exporter Gazprom has warned further Western sanctions over Ukraine could disrupt gas exports.

"An expansion of the US, EU and other sanctions programmes could adversely impact operations and the financial condition of the Gazprom Group," it said.

The firm, which provides 30% of Europe's gas, has not been hit by US or European sanctions.

The warning came as Gazprom posted a 7% drop in 2013 profit.

The profit fall, which was largely due to a weaker rouble, was expected by analysts.

The warning comes after Ukraine on Tuesday threatened to take Gazprom to court, over what it says are inflated gas prices, if the Russian energy firm refuses a new payment deal.

Russia almost doubled Ukraine's gas price after the toppling of President Viktor Yanukovich in February.

Gazprom has threatened to cut supplies to Ukraine over an unpaid gas bill that it puts at more than $2bn (£1.2bn) and warned this could lead to reduced deliveries to clients in Europe.

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