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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine to Import Less Gas in ’10

KIEV — Ukraine plans to cut Russian gas imports by a quarter next year, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was quoted as saying Thursday.

Ukraine’s imports of gas burden its finances but provide vital revenues to Russia. The two countries often argue over prices and supplies, and one dispute led to a New Year’s gas cutoff for weeks, affecting consumers across central Europe.

“Given that we have bought 33 billion cubic meters of Russian gas this year, next year we will take 25 billion cubic meters,” local news agencies quoted Tymoshenko as saying in the western city of Lviv.

Ukraine imported 49 bcm of gas last year at $179.50 per 1,000 cubic meters. It paid $8.6 billion in total, almost 7 percent of gross domestic product.

After the January dispute with Russia, Ukraine agreed to pay the market price for gas with a 20 percent discount. Prices are set quarterly — Kiev now pays $198.34 per 1,000 cubic meters, far lower than the $360 it paid in the first quarter.

A cut in imports next year to 25 bcm would halve Ukraine’s consumption of Russian gas from the 50 bcm it had been buying annually in previous years.

On Wednesday, Tymoshenko and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin agreed to meet next month in Warsaw, Tymoshenko’s press service said. They will hold talks Sept. 1 on the invitation of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.