KIEV, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan said here Wednesday that his country is planning to import 15 percent less natural gas from Russia in 2014 than previously expected.
"We plan to buy 27 to 30 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia," Prodan told reporters during a media briefing.
Prodan expressed his hope that Moscow would not impose any sanctions on Kiev for failing to import gas volumes agreed in the beginning of the year.
In mid-January, Ukraine's state-run energy firm Naftogaz and Russia's gas giant Gazprom signed an amendment to the gas supply contract, pegging the price of gas at 268.5 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.
Following the deal, then Energy Minister Eduard Stavytsky said Kiev plans to buy 33 to 35 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia in 2014.
On March 1, Moscow said Ukraine might lose its gas discount due to its outstanding gas debt, which reached some 1.5 billion dollars.
Last year, Ukraine imported about 30 billion cubic meters of gas, of which about 28 billion came from Russia.
Ukraine needs more OSCE observers
VIENNA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine requests Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to send more unarmed military observers to the country, OSCE said on Tuesday.
The request follows the sending of the first unarmed observers team, which is working in Ukraine but still unable to move beyond checkpoints at the administrative border of Crimea. Full story
EU proposes temporary tariff cuts to Ukraine
BRUSSELS, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission Tuesday adopted a proposal for temporarily removing customs duties on Ukrainian exports to the European Union (EU).
The annual value of this support measure will be nearly 500 million euros (692 million U.S. dollars) in tariff reductions, of which almost 400 million euros accrue to the agricultural sector. Full story