Prime Minister of Ukraine promised not to raise gas prices until the presidential elections of 2019
At the same time, experts believe that Kiev will again increase the cost of gas for the population in the near future. According to one of them, this will happen in 2019
KYIV, October 24. /TASS./ Natural gas prices for the population in Ukraine will no longer increase until the end of the heating season 2018-2019. This was stated on Wednesday at a meeting of the government Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman.
“Neither this year, nor this heating season, the price of gas will not increase,” he said, commenting on the information that Ukrainians will soon be waiting for a new price increase of 35% in favor of the requirements of the International monetary Fund.
The heating season in Ukraine, depending on weather conditions, lasts on average until mid-April. Thus, the head of the government made it clear that there will be no new increase in gas prices before the next presidential elections in the country (scheduled for March 31, 2019).
The Cabinet of Ministers at an extraordinary meeting on October 19 decided to raise the price of gas for the population from November 1 to 23.5% – up to 8550 hryvnia ($303.2) per thousand cubic meters in the performance of obligations to the IMF. Groysman in this regard stressed that the Ukrainian side could not do otherwise, as it would threaten the termination of cooperation with international financial organizations, and as a consequence – the default of Ukraine.
Experts believe that Kiev will again increase the cost of gas for the population in the near future. So, according to the Ukrainian academician, expert in the field of economy Anatolii Peshko, it will happen in 2019. “There are statements on the sidelines of the government. In the future, with the beginning of the new year, the price of gas will be revised again, up to the fact that it will be increased to the level of the price of industrial consumers, that is, somewhere up to 12-13 thousand hryvnia per thousand cubic meters,” he said yesterday in a comment to the TASS correspondent.
According to the expert, this will automatically lead to an increase in prices for utilities by at least 50%, as well as for heating, hot water supply. In General, the analyst believes, this “will be a very heavy burden on the Ukrainian people.”
Kiev and the IMF are preparing a new agreement
Negotiations on financial assistance to Ukraine from the IMF during peak payments on foreign debt in 2019 came to the final stage, Groysman said. Acting head of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine Oksana Markarova said that the parties are preparing to conclude a new agreement stand-by, which “will allow the government to receive funding on very attractive terms and increase foreign exchange reserves.”
This agreement will be designed for 14 months and involves the provision of $ 3.9 billion, the IMF said. It is expected that the IMF Council will consider the new program in 2019 and after Ukraine will be adopted as a whole the state budget for next year.
The chief Executive officer of Naftogaz of Ukraine Yuriy Vitrenko reported that further pricing in the gas sector in Ukraine was the subject of negotiations between Kiev and the IMF, but the details are still unknown.