Ukraine, one of the largest buyers of gas from Russia's export monopoly Gazprom, plans to cut imports by a quarter next year, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said.
Ukraine, one of the largest buyers of gas from Russia's export monopoly Gazprom, plans to cut imports by a quarter next year, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was quoted as saying on Thursday. Ukraine's imports of gas burden its finances, but provide vital revenues to Russia. The two ex-Soviet states often row over prices and supplies and one dispute led to a New Year gas cut-off for weeks, affecting consumers across central Europe.
'Given that we have bought 33 billion cubic metres of Russian gas this year, next year we will take 25 billion cubic metres,' local news agencies quoted her as saying in the western city of Lviv.
Ukraine imported 49 bcm of gas last year at $179.50 per 1,000 cubic metres. It paid $8.6 billion in total, almost 7 percent of gross domestic product.
After the January row with Russia, Ukraine agreed to pay the market price for gas with a 20 percent discount. Prices are set quarterly -- Kiev now pays $198.34 per 1,000 cubic metres, far lower than the $360 it paid in the first quarter.
A cut in imports next year to 25 bcm would halve Ukraine's consumption of Russian gas from the 50 bcm it had been buying annually in previous years.
A deep economic recession, which has slashed industrial activity, has slowed gas consumption. Ukraine is also trying to reform its Soviet-built infrastructure and heavy industry to make consumption more efficient.