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Gazprom says it's not impacted by sanctions

The world's biggest natural gas producer posted a 5 percent decline in net profits in the first quarter.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Russian gas company Gazprom said it's not feeling much impact from Western economic sanctions. File Photo by Igor Golovniov/Shutterstock
Russian gas company Gazprom said it's not feeling much impact from Western economic sanctions. File Photo by Igor Golovniov/Shutterstock

MOSCOW, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Western economic sanctions have little impact on Gazprom activities as the company focuses on domestic procurement efforts, the Russian company said.

Western powers enacted tighter sanctions on Russia in the fallout from the Ukrainian political crisis that followed Kiev's efforts to join the European Union in 2014. Since then, Russia's economy has stumbled under the dual strains of lower crude oil prices and crippling sanctions.

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Russian energy company Gazprom said its board of directors noted few negative consequences as a result of those sanctions.

"Western sanctions have left Gazprom largely unaffected, including with respect to the execution and extension of existing contracts and the conclusion of new contracts for gas supplies with foreign parties, and have had little bearing on the company's ongoing activities," it said in a statement.

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The energy company, which is an important supplier to the European energy market, said it was able to counter some of the impact from sanctions by focusing on domestic companies. Foreign equipment accounts for 5 percent of total procurements, and less than 0.1 percent for pipelines.

Gazprom's control over both the energy supplies and transit networks has raised concerns from European governments worried about the security of those supplies. Gazprom in the past has disrupted gas supplies to Ukraine, which hosts several European-bound pipelines, and Poland, which relies almost entirely on Russia for energy, has recently raised anti-trust concerns about planned Gazprom projects.

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Apart from direct procurements, the Russian company said it was financially secure.

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"Gazprom enjoys free access to international capital markets and is able to take out loans on reasonable terms," the company said.

In December, the U.S. government extended its reach to Gazprombank, a financial subsidiary of the energy company.

The parent company in early August reported a net profit for the first quarter of $5.6 billion, a year-on-year decline of 5 percent.

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