Ukraine to suspend gas imports from Russia

Kiev(NERVE): Ukraine will suspend import of Russian natural gas from April 1, the Ukrainian energy minister said on Monday.

There is no pressing need for buying gas from Russia, thus we will suspend purchases, Demchyshyn said in Kiev, according to a Xinhua news agency report.

The minister explained that starting from next month, Kiev would temporarily replace gas imported from Russia with cheaper fuel purchased on the European spot market.

Demchyshyn also hoped that in mid-April, Kiev and Moscow would reach a new gas deal, which would cover Russian gas supplies to Ukraine until the summer of 2016.

Currently, Ukraine is importing gas from Russia under a winter package reached between the two sides last October, which expires on March 31.

According to Ukraine’s state statistics service, Kiev paid $335 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas it imported from Russia in January 2015, while the price for gas it purchased in other parts of Europe was $322 per 1,000 cubic metres.