Ukraine has begun importing gas from Europe through Hungary, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said at a news conference with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Budapest on Thursday, the Ukrainian government's press office said in a statement.

"I am very pleased to inform you that today, and it is a significant event, the Ukrainian-Hungarian border has been crossed by the first molecule of gas in the reverse direction. It is no exaggeration to say that it is extremely large event, and it means a breakthrough towards Ukraine's energy independence," Azarov emphasized.

At the same time, the head of Ukrainian government personally thanked his counterpart for the basic approach, which allowed to conclude these negotiations and to start importing European gas to Ukraine via Hungary.

Existing capabilities will allow to import 2 billion cubic meters per year, but experts estimate that the capacity can be increased five times - up to 10 billion cubic meters.

At the same time, the sides agreed to work out a few more routes of hydrocarbons transportation.

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