Ukraine rules out gas price rise despite IMF requirement
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said Friday his country would not fulfill the requirement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to raise gas prices for domestic consumers, according to Xinhua.
"We will never accept the measures that will affect our ordinary citizens and will have a negative impact on people's well- being," Yanukovych said during a meeting here with the local cultural circle.
The IMF has long asked Kiev to end subsides for gas in order to reduce the burden on the national budget and promote more efficient energy use.
Ukraine's below-market utility rates cause an annual loss of around 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, equivalent to 0.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
Increasing utility bills is a key requirement by the IMF to allocate Kiev a new loan worth 10 billion IMF special drawing rights, or around 15.3 billion dollars.