No Joke: Ukraine Plans to Entirely Abandon Russian Gas From April 1

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Gas compressor station - Sputnik International
Ukraine's Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn believes that there is no need to buy Russian gas at the moment.

Ukraine intends to stop buying Russian gas from April 1 or start to buy only small amounts of gas, Volodymyr Demchyshyn said.

"There is no need to buy Russian gas at the moment. It makes no sense to buy it [Russian gas] at a higher price than we can buy it from Europe," the minister said.

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Earlier Ukraine has proposed to extend the current "winter package" on Russian gas deliveries for the period after April 1 without a fresh request for a discount.

"The Russian side insisted on a new official request [for discount] from Ukraine, but we believe that this issue has been regulated in the 'winter package,' and we asked to extend it because we are satisfied with its conditions," Demchyshyn said at a joint news conference following trilateral gas talks in Brussels.

Demchyshyn added that Kiev expected the price for Russian gas to be around $250 per 1,000 cubic meters in the second quarter, considering a $100 discount, while the price in the third and fourth quarters "could be even less."

Ukraine is currently paying $329 per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian natural gas as part of a deal, brokered by the European Commission last year to secure gas deliveries to Ukraine during peak winter season. This deal is set to expire on March 31, 2015.

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