KIEV, Sept 29 Ukraine has increased its daily
imports of natural gas from European countries to 53.3 million
cubic metres (mcm) from around 50 million, Ukrainian state-run
gas transport company Ukrtransgaz said on Thursday.
Ukraine, which used to meet its gas needs with imports of
Russian gas, has not bought gas directly from Russia since
November 2015, importing instead from Europe. Relations between
the two nations have suffered since Russia's annexation of
Crimea in 2014.
Ukraine imports gas mostly from Slovakia. Ukrtransgaz said
all facilities were fully loaded and Kiev was receiving more
than 40 mcm of gas a day from Slovakia. The rest comes from
Poland and Hungary.
The Ukrainian government said this month Kiev would
increase its gas stocks to 17 billion cubic metres (bcm) this
winter, compared with the 14 bcm initially planned.
Ukraine traditionally accumulates 17-19 bcm of mostly
Russian gas in storage to cover domestic consumption and
guarantee stable gas transit to Europe once the weather turns
The country of 43 million people had 14.1 bcm of gas stocks
as of Sept. 27.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Mark Potter)