Ukraine to stop buy Russian gas next year
(ForUm) - Ukraine will stop purchasing Russian natural gas beginning next year, instead opting for cheaper gas from Central Asian states, an energy official said.
Ukraine currently pays $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of a mix of more expensive Russian gas and cheaper Turkmen imports that it receives through an intermediary company, reports Trend.
In order to avoid an anticipated major price hike from Russia next year, Ukraine has agreed to buy the needed 57.5 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan for the same price it is currently paying, said Dmytro Marunich, spokesman for Ukraine's state-owned gas company Naftogaz.
"There is no need to buy from anybody else," Marunich told The Associated Press.
Energy Minister Yuri Boyko stressed, however, that the decision will not disrupt deliveries of Russian gas to European consumers, Ukrainian media reported. Some 80 percent of Russian gas exports to Europe go through Ukraine.
Ukraine has vowed that western European gas consumers will not suffer supply disruptions as they did in January during a price dispute between Ukraine and Russia, when Russia briefly turned off the gas taps. Russia then accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas meant for Europe.
Russia's state-controlled natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, has said it would keep the current price of natural gas for Ukraine unchanged until the end of the year, but pressure to increase the price has risen after Turkmenistan hiked the amount Russia pays for the gas it buys and then sells on to Ukraine.