Ukraine has approved the reduction of gas imports from Russia to 27 billion cubic meters in 2012 from over 40 billion cubic meters last year, Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko said Wednesday, according to Xinhua.

"The Cabinet approved a projected balance sheet. Reducing purchases of imported gas was fundamental for us," Boyko told a press briefing.

The overall balance of natural gas consumption in Ukraine will amount to 50 billion cubic meters in 2012, Boyko said, adding that the country is able to partially provide its own gas.

Ukraine, which depends heavily on Russian gas for heating and industry, has been negotiating with Moscow for nearly two years to revise a 2009 gas deal that ties the gas price to international oil prices.

The agreement also implies Kiev`s obligation to import no less than 52 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia annually.

Moscow, for its part, has repeatedly said Ukraine must stick to the current arrangements.

Ukraine`s gas imports from Russia decreased 52 percent to 8.547 billion cubic meters in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year.