March 2, 2018 / 4:15 PM / a year ago

Ukraine's Poroshenko: Gazprom has no right to annul gas contracts

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Friday that Russia’s Gazprom had no legal right to unilaterally cancel gas supply and transit contracts with Ukraine and expressed confidence that the contracts would stay in force.

Gazprom (GAZP.MM) said earlier on Friday it had asked a court to terminate its gas supply and transit contracts with Ukraine after being ordered to pay $2.56 billion to Kiev, in a dispute which the EU said could threaten gas flows to Europe.

Poroshenko said Gazprom’s actions showed it was an unreliable energy supplier and said the Ukrainian government was taking measures to ensure the smooth operation of the country’s gas transport system.

He said the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine to Europe was not under threat.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alison Williams

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