MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian Ministry of Finance and other government agencies involved in the process have developed proposals for the replacement of natural gas imports, particularly from Russia, a press release from the ministry says.
The ministry offers eight options for import substitutions.
“Each of the suggested areas can be developed in particular regions of Ukraine with the appropriate application,” the statement reads.
Among other options, the government plans to use a sea terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"According to scientists, LNG could be an alternative to Russian natural gas and be supplied at a market price of 380 dollars per thousand cubic meters," the Ministry of Finance says.
At the same time, the agency recognizes there are issues related to the implementation of the project, in particular, the necessity of solving the "political question" with Turkey on transit through the Bosphorus strait.
Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia has been accumulating since 2013, when the country found itself amid a deep political crisis. According to the latest estimates, Ukraine owes Russia $4.46 billion in unpaid gas bills.
Russian Energy minister Alexander Novak and EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger have repeatedly met over the past months on the sidelines of trilateral gas talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission aimed at breaking the deadlock over Kiev’s debt and gas prices.
However, on June 16, Russian energy giant Gazprom was forced to switch to a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine after the sides failed to reach a compromise on the issue.