Kiev to slash Russian gas purchases by 5 bcm in 2012

Ukraine has filed a bid to buy 27 billion cubic meters of gas in 2012 from Russia’s gas giant Gazprom after a 33 bcm bid this year, President Viktor Yanukovych said on Friday.

“We have filed a bid for 27 bcm for next year,” Yanukovych said.

Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko said last month that Ukraine, which is in a bitter row with Moscow over prices for gas, bought 40 bcm of gas this year. Gazprom said Kiev must pay for 33 bcm of gas a year regardless of actual purchases.

The 10-year gas export contract with Russia, signed in 2009, ties the price for gas to oil prices, which have been rising recently boosting Ukraine’s bill. Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is now on trial for signing the deal, and Kiev is at pains to revise it.

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