If Kiev can't manage to get a lower price for the gas it gets from Russia, it will have to raise prices for domestic consumers, Ukraine's president said.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Ukraine this week. They discussed energy issues, though a Medvedev aide said Moscow wasn't ready to sign any contracts.
Kiev aims to cut gas imports by almost half in an effort to lower the price it pays for natural gas. Moscow says a 2009 gas deal is still on the books for the rest of the decade, however.
Yanukovych was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying Ukraine wanted a level playing field in terms of natural gas prices from Russia.
"Should we fail to get it, we will be forced to raise the domestic price," he said.
A court in Kiev sentenced former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in jail for abusing her power when she helped broker the 2009 gas deal. The deal helped get gas flowing after a supply disruption, though her opponents said it caused significant economic harm.
Kiev needs to address the financial situation of state energy company Naftogaz to get additional payments from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF in 2010 backed a $15.6 billion loan for Kiev after its economy was battered by the global economic recession.