Ukraine may legally require that natural gas importers purchase a certain amount from Europe, Naftogaz Ukrainy chief Andriy Kobolev said.
"We are preparing to make changes to the law on the gas trade that would require Naftogaz and every other trading company on the Ukrainian market to purchase a portion of gas in Europe. We will make this a requirement," Kobolev said in an interview with Vedomosti published on Thursday.
"That is, Gazprom might offer a lower price, but we would still have to buy some percentage in Europe, even if it is more expensive," he said.
Ukraine began reverse imports of natural gas shipped through Poland in November 2012. It began importing natural gas from Hungary in April 2013 and plans to begin imports from Slovakia in September 2014.
The deliveries from Europe were halted in January 2014 after Naftogaz and Gazprom agreed on deliveries of Russian gas priced at $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters. However, that agreement was annulled in April.
The reverse deliveries to Ukraine started up again on April 15. Ukraine imported 0.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from Poland and Hungary in April-July, including about 0.20 bcm in May, 0.33 bcm in June and 0.22 bcm in July.
Ukraine imported 2.132 bcm from Europe in 2013.
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