Ukraine plans to buy 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas in Europe, Naftogaz Ukrainy CEO Yevgeny Bakulin said. “We are engaged in consultations on diversification of the gas market and gas purchases in Europe in the amount of 10 billion cubic metres,” Bakulin told journalists on Saturday, March 17. “This work is at the preliminary stage,” he added. Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told the German newspaper Die Welt earlier in the day that “Naftogaz Ukrainy was engaged in negotiations with the German energy company RWE on the import of Russian natural gas to Ukraine from Europe in reverse mode”. In his opinion, “this will be less expensive that buy gas directly from Russia”. The price of Russian natural gas for Ukraine is 416 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres in the first quarter of this year; 418 U.S. dollars in the second and third quarters; and 413 U.S. dollars in the fourth quarter. The average annual price will be 415.77 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres. The Ukrainian state budget sets the price of gas at 416 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic metres.