Ukraine could save $8 billion a year on gas, if it joins the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Gazprom Deputy CEO Valery Golubev said on Thursday.
"Ukraine, with its (annual) consumption level of 40 billion cubic meters of gas, could save $8 billion a year," Golubev told a forum in Moscow on prospects for the Russian fuel and energy sector in the 21st century.
Golubev said this was because the price of Russian natural gas for Ukraine was currently linked to European prices.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Thursday that Ukraine will develop its relations with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in a "three plus one" format, which will contribute to European and Eurasian economic integration.
Ukraine's constitution prohibits it from participating in any international alliances. However, if Ukraine wishes so, it can solve the issue by making amendments to its fundamental law via a referendum, Golubev said.
"The door is open," Golubev said.
MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti)