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KIEV, March 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The International Monetary Fund’s demand for raising retail gas prices and utility services’ tariffs have driven the negotiations on a resumption of the lending program talks up a dead end, Deputy Prime Minister, Social Policies Minister Sergei Tigipko, told a news briefing.
“We are in a dead end. This is for certain. The IMF’s position is unchanged – higher tariffs. There are no problems left,” he said, adding that Ukraine had complied with all of the fund’s other requirements, but it would certainly not agree to a rise in tariffs.
Tigipko said the IMF would like to see a rise in utility services tariffs by approximately 32.5 percent, which would greatly harm the budget of any Ukrainian family.
“I believe that this would be a very great increase. It is really a dead end. We shall not agree to this,” Tigipko said. In that connection he dismissed the rumors Ukraine had reportedly asked US lobbyists to persuade the IMF to drop its demand Kiev should raise the prices of gas and utilities services for households.