Ukraine has reduced its imports of natural gas by more than 35% in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period last year.
New figured from the State Statistics Service revealed the country imported 10,296 billion cubic metres of gas in the first six months this year, for which it paid $4.33 billion (£2.77bn).
In the month of June alone, Ukraine cut its natural gas imports to 0.917 billion cubic metres – almost half of all gas imported in the same months last year.
The nation also managed to reduce imports last year by 26.5% – down to around 32 billion cubic metres following the country’s strategy on increasing energy independence.
Ukraine has been developing reverse gas routes from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania and increasing imports from EU countries as it cuts expensive gas from Russia. It threatened gas supplies to Europe could be cut if Ukraine failed to resolve its payment row with Gazprom in 2008.
Ukraine started purchasing gas in the EU in November last year and since May this year has started importing it from Slovakia as part of a test mode.
The Government expects to sign a contract for the supply of seven billion cubic metres of natural gas every year through Hungary and Slovakia, reducing Russian imports to 20 billion cubic metres.