The amount of gas transited through Ukraine to Europe dropped 50% year-on-year, in January-March to 17.6 billion cubic meters, the country`s fuel and energy ministry said on Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported.

"According to the latest data, Ukraine transported (transited) 17.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the first quarter of 2009, which is 18.1 billion cubic meters or 50.7% less than in the same period of last year," the ministry said.

Ukraine`s gas transportation network is Europe`s second largest system with a total length of 37,600 kilometers (60,510 miles). The European Union and Ukraine signed a declaration in March on modernizing the country`s gas transportation system.

RIA Novosti