KIEV, May 23 (Reuters) - Ukraine needs to collect around 20 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in reserves for the 2019/20 heating season, almost 18 percent more than the country held in stocks last season, the head of state gas firm Naftogaz said on Thursday.
"The key is to timely.. accumulate 20 billion cubic metres of gas in the underground storage by winter," Andriy Kobolev said in Twitter.
Ukraine had 10.7 bcm of gas in storage as of May 21, data from transport company Ukrtransgaz showed.
Ukraine consumed 32.3 bcm of gas in 2018 and imported 10.6 bcm. For the heating season which ran from mid-October to April, Ukraine stored 16.9 bcm of gas.
Ukraine used to meet its gas needs with imports from Russia, but has not bought Russian gas directly since November 2015. Kiev's relations with Moscow soured after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Kiev now imports from Europe. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Jason Neely)
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