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18 August 2017
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Ukraine not to hike gas prices after parliamentary elections: PM

Ukraine won't increase gas prices for domestic consumers after parliamentary elections in late October, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said here Monday, according to Xinhua.

"Tariffs for households after the elections will not rise. Now we are looking for the ways to reduce tariffs for the industry," Azarov said.

The government hoped to re-negotiate a cheaper price for Russian gas to decrease the strain on the budget, he said.

Currently, the government's unwillingness to raise household gas prices is a sticking point in the resumption of a 15-billion-U.S.-dollar International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid package for Ukraine. To unlock its loans, the IMF wants Ukraine raise gas prices by 30 percent to 50 percent.

Ukrainian and foreign experts have previously expounded the view that the government will consider higher utility tariffs after the parliamentary elections, which will take place on Oct. 28.

Ukraine is paying nearly 432 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas in the fourth quarter of this year.

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