Ukraine to Cut Gas Imports

Ukraine is planning to cut its imports of Russian gas next year by more than a quarter of the present level in a bid to reduce its fuel bill from its giant neighbor, a high-ranking official of Naftogaz oil and gas firm said on Friday.

The former Soviet republic, whose government is trying to re-negotiate a 2009 gas deal with Moscow that it says sets too high a price for supplies, is seeking alternative energy sources to reduce its reliance on Russia.

It has signed a contract with Germany's RWE for alternative gas shipments, which might provide about 5 bcm of gas in 2013. Kiev says it plans also to draw on its own limited domestic gas sources and make more use of abundant coal reserves to power industry and heat homes.

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