KIEV, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine plans to resume imports of natural gas from Turkmenistan to ease a dependence on expensive Russian supply, a senior Ukraine official said Wednesday.
"We want to restart natural gas deliveries from Turkmenistan this year," Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavytsky told a press conference.
Ukraine plans to buy some 10 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan in 2013, Stavytsky said.
Turkmenistan supplied Ukraine with around 36 billion cubic meters of gas annually until 2006 when Ukraine switched over to Russian gas.
Currently, Kiev is seeking to slash gas imports from its northern neighbor, an intention that Moscow said violates their energy deal signed in 2009.
Under their contract, Ukraine agreed to buy 52 billion cubic meters of gas per year or pay for a minimum of 80 percent of that volume, regardless of the actual amount taken.
Kiev, which currently pays 432 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, is reported to have imported 24.9 billion cubic meters from Russia last year.
Russia on Jan. 25 demanded that Ukraine pay 7 billion dollars for failing to import the contracted amount of gas.