KIEV, July 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukraine will take as much Russian gas as it needs, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said during a working trip to the Crimea on Saturday, July 7.
“We will consume as much as we need for our housing and utilities sector, national economy and preparation for the winter, and not a billion more. As for the amount contained in that scandalous contract [gas contract of 2009 signed by former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko], let it be on the conscience of those who signed it for Ukraine,” the prime minister said.
He believes that Ukraine will be able to come to agreement with Russia on the amount of gas to be purchased.
“We will work it out. Talks with the Russian side at the level of presidents are to take place on July 12. I have recently had talks with my Russian colleague. We will find a common language on all issues. So, don’t worry,” Azarov said.
On June 27, Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Boiko told journalists that Naftogaz Ukrainy and Russian Gazprom had agreed that Ukraine would buy 27 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas in 2013.
“The request has been approved,” Boiko said and expressed confidence that “Ukraine will actually buy less gas”. “Our purchases have already been halved and consumption had dropped by 15 percent per month,” the minister added.
According to Ukrtransgaz, in the first six months of this year Ukraine reduced the import of natural gas from Russia by 55 percent from the same period of last year to 16 billion cubic metres.
In the first half of the year, the transit of natural gas through Ukraine to Western Europe was 43 billion cubic metres, a decrease of 23.81 percent from the same period of 2011.
Gas transit to CIS countries stayed virtually unchanged at about 1.6 billion cubic metres.
Nearly 28 billion cubic metres of gas were transported to Ukrainian consumers in January-June 2012, which is 4 percent less than in the same period of 2011.