Ukraine’s energy regulator announced on Saturday that gas prices for domestic consumers would go up by 35% from December 1.

The increase is part of steps to bring energy prices in the former Soviet republic up to European levels, in accordance with a presidential decree.

“Presidential decrees are not questioned, they are carried out,” said Valery Kalchenko, the energy commission head.

He added that the 35% rise was approved because increasing prices to their economically realistic level would be very painful for most people in Ukraine.

Ukraine imports most of its gas from Russia and the two countries have agreed that wholesale prices will increase to European levels over the next three years.

RIA Novosti