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KIEV, November 12 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukraine will not raise retail gas prices, contrary to demands by the International Monetary Fund, in case of a success at gas talks with Russia, Deputy Prime Minister, Social Policies Minister Sergei Tigipko, said on the Inter television news channel on Friday.
“We have paused our work with the IMF mission at this point. There has remained only one outstanding issue – that of tariffs. We do hope that we shall be through with our talks with Russia by the end of the month. If the price of Russian gas is lowered, we shall try to persuade the IMF not to insist on tariff rises.”
Tigipko said that the IMF mission that visited Ukraine just recently took a very hard line.
“We were told that tariffs must be raised in any circumstance. We responded that we have the right to set the prices for retail consumers, housing and utilities sector and industries at our sole discretion,” Tigipko said.
The IMF mission was in Kiev on October 25-November 3. At the beginning of the month a Ukrainian government delegation was in Washington for talks with the IMF on further cooperation between Ukraine and the Fund.