Ukraine will halt Russian natural gas purchases on April 1, 2015, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Volodomir Demchyshyn said at a press conference in Kiev on Monday.
He said this was because the price of imported Russian gas is higher than European prices.
"We are now going to stop buying it [Russian gas]. There's not an urgent need," Demchyshyn added.
In January 2015, Ukraine imported natural gas from Europe at an average price of $322.5 per 1,000 cubic meters ($341.2 in December 2014), while the import price from Russia was $335.7 per 1,000 cubic meters ($384.9 in December).
Demchyshyn added that a new agreement would be signed on April 13-14 concerning purchases of Russian natural gas. "A decision [on buying Russian gas after April 1] has technically been formulated and I think it'll be signed on April 13 or 14," he said.
Ukraine would like for the agreement to last until summer 2016, Demchyshyn added.
He noted that it would be easier to agree with Russia on the price of gas in the second and third quarters, which is connected with lower demand in the summer period.
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