KIEV, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine is considering resuming natural gas imports from Russia starting from the third quarter of 2016, local media reported Tuesday, citing Andriy Kobolyev, the chairman of the state-run energy firm Naftogaz.
"The dialogue on this issue is underway. Naftogaz plans to resume gas imports in the third quarter, so we still have a month for negotiations," Kobolyev was quoted as saying in a televised interview with 5 TV channel.
The resumption of gas purchases will be possible if Gazprom, a Russian energy giant, offers Ukraine a pricing mechanism that makes fuel imported from Russia less expensive than fuel purchased on the European spot market, Kobolyev said, without specifying the desirable price for Kiev.
To cover its gas purchases in the third quarter, Ukraine will use a loan of 300 million U.S. dollars obtained from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development last autumn, Kobolyev said.
Gas supplies from Russia to Ukraine have been suspended since November 2015, as the two countries failed to reach an agreement on pricing.
Kiev has instead turned to its Western neighbors to buy gas that they had bought from Russia, insisting the price was lower than what direct supplies cost.
In the first quarter of this year, Ukraine purchased gas solely on the European market at an average cost of about 198 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.