Ukraine has started a test importation of natural gas from Europe via Slovakia, Energy Minister Eduard Stavytskiy said Wednesday, according to Xinhua.

"The reverse gas imports in a test mode will last seven to 10 days," Stavytskiy told reporters.

According to state-run "Ukrtransgas" company estimates, Ukraine could buy natural gas on European spot markets and annually import at least 10 billion cubic meters of gas through Slovakia.

Ukraine already purchases gas from Germany's RWE and imports it through Poland and Hungary as it seeks to trim its reliance on Russian supplies.

The former Soviet republic imported 120.1 million cubic meters of gas from Germany in April while its purchases from Russia stood at 800.8 million cubic meters.