Ukraine has reached a tentative agreement with Turkmenistan to resume imports of natural gas from the Central Asian country.
Ukrainian Energy Minister Eduard Stavytskyy told journalists in Ashgabat on February 13 that the agreement was signed after talks between visiting Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his Turkmen counterpart, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.
Stavytskyy added that talks with other parties will follow before the deal can be finalized.
The deal's completion would require the consent of Kazakhstan and Russia as transit states.
Ukraine has been seeking alternatives to Russian gas imports to meet its energy needs.
Until 2006, Turkmenistan supplied Ukraine with 36 billion cubic meters of gas annually.
Last month, Russia's state-controlled Gazprom gas monopoly demanded that Ukraine pay back a $7 billion debt, a claim Kyiv disputes.
Based on reporting by UNIAN and Interfax