"We have proved that we are able to get rid of the Russian gas dependence," he said, recalling that Ukraine purchased 95% of its gas from Russia in 2013. 67% of gas was obtained from the European Union and only 33% from Russia in 2014. "I want it (the consumption of Russian gas - ed.) to be reduced to zero."
"The winter has almost passed. Few of us believed that we will survive it. I said that there will not be too hot but we will not freeze to death - and it was warm indeed and no one has frozen to death. But we have to keep considering the real energy independence and efficiency of the state. And we can significantly improve our energy efficiency through increase of domestic oil and natural gas production," Yatseniuk said.
He stressed the need to implement reforms and changes, including in the energy sector.
The prime minister emphasized the need to gradually "get to the real price of natural gas" over two years: "On the one hand, it will certainly entail surge of prices and tariffs. On the other hand, it will be accompanied by energy saving and energy efficiency programs."
He recalled that the government provided 20% compensation through the State Savings Bank of Ukraine program to those who replaced gas boilers with energy-efficient ones last year.
In addition, according to Yatseniuk, the government will announce new approaches to charging of subsidies and benefits for citizens. Every citizen will receive application and declaration draft by mail which a person should send to a social service after filling them in: "The social service will independently decide on granting appropriate subsidies."
The government provides UAH 12.5 billion (approx. USD 480,000,000) from the budget for funding of subsidies.
Yatseniuk stressed that Ukraine would be able to increase its own gas production after the change in energy pricing.