Natural gas purchases from the European Union will account for at least 50% of Ukrainian gas imports in 2015, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said in the Verkhovna Rada on Friday.

"Our minimum gas balance will be 50-50. The minimum share of gas we will buy from the EU is 50%," he said.

As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers authorized national joint-stock company Naftogaz Ukrainy to ensure natural gas imports from one source at no more than 50% of the total annual volume of gas supplies in 2015.

The instruction is stipulated in the forecast balance of natural gas supply and distribution for 2015 approved by cabinet resolution No. 410-r of April 15, which posted on the government's website on Thursday.

The state holding was instructed to continue the policy of diversifying sources of gas supplies, in particular, via the expansion of the technical possibilities of importing gas from Europe and booking pipelines for transporting gas from Slovakia via Budince interconnection point.

According to the resolution, Ukraine plans to import 25.985 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, which is 33.5% up on 2014 (19.466 bcm). The country plans to import 6.891 bcm in Q1 2015, 6.963 bcm in Q2 2015, 7.128 bcm in Q3 2015 and 5.003 bcm in Q4 2015.

The sources have not been made available in the forecast balance.