A European Union (EU) official on Monday urged Ukraine to develop renewable energy in an effort to cope with rising domestic energy demand, according to Xinhua.

"Reduction of energy consumption, as well as energy efficiency should be supremacy task for Ukraine. This is extremely important for a country, ranked among the states with highest energy consumption," Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira, head of the EU delegation to Ukraine, told a press conference here.

Ukrainians have to change the mentality and realize the need to conserve energy, Teixeira said.

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Kiev must focus more on deploying renewable energy, in particular solar energy in a bid to realize sustainable development, he said.

He also noted this issue was particularly important in light of the Kiev-Moscow drawn-out dispute over the price of Russian gas purchased by Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government for long time has been seeking to diversify its energy sources to reduce dependence on Russian gas, which cost 425 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters in the second quarter of 2012.

In early June, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated in the nearest future the government will focus on energy conservation, energy efficiency and alternative energy sources.

The government aims to increase the share of renewables in the country`s energy mix to 15 percent in 2015 from the current 3 percent.