Ukraine plans to slash its gas imports from Russia from 27.7 billion cubic meters this year to just 20 billion next year, energy company Naftogaz’s Deputy Director Vadim Chuprun said on Friday, according to RIA Novosti.
"Around 20 billion cubic meters," Chuprun answered, when asked how much gas Ukraine planned to buy from Russia next year.
The two sides have been locked in a conflict over gas prices since they signed a supply deal in 2009.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was later sentenced to seven years imprisonment for exceeding her authority by signing the deal.
Naftogaz’s contract with Gazprom has a “take-or-pay”clause which covers 80 percent of the amount of gas set out in the contract.
Following from the 52 billion cu m set out in the 2012 contract, Ukraine is required to pay for not less than 41.6 billion cu m of gas.
Ukraine has previously said it would slash gas imports due to high prices as soon as this year, from the contracted 52 billion cu m to just 27 billion.
Russia has said the contracted volume for this year is already fixed and cannot be altered within six months of the contracted delivery date.
Ukraine initially said in wanted 27 billion cu m this year, but later cut this figure to 24.5 billion cu m.
Chuprun said gas from Germany’s RWE, delivered via Europe in reverse regime, is delivered to Ukraine at $100 per thousand cu m cheaper than Russian gas from Gazprom.
“It’s around $100 cheaper,” he said, when asked how much it cost.
Ukraine began buying gas from Europe in reverse regime in November.
In 2013 Naftogaz plans to buy around 5 billion cu m from RWE.