KIEV, June 20 (Itar-Tass) - Ukraine cannot raise gas prices for the population, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) demands, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said on Thursday.
“The IMF’s demands are unacceptable for us. We cannot agree to raise gas prices for the population. Because it might be fraught with negative social consequences for people,” the presidential press service quotes Yanukovich as saying.
Earlier, the International Monetary Fund demanded that Ukraine reduce its state budget deficit and raise domestic gas prices. Currently, the average gas price is 0.93 hryvnas (0.12 U.S. dollar) for one cubic meter, which is among Europe’s lowest. It is expected that gas pricing will be discussed at a meeting with representatives from the International Monetary Fund in Kiev on June 28.
An IMF mission visited Ukraine from March 27 to April 1. In the summer of 2010, the International Monetary Fund launched a program of financial assistance to Kiev worth 15.5 billion U.S. dollars. Ukraine received two tranches to a total amount of three U.S. dollars. The program has been suspended since Ukraine failed to satisfy the IMF’s demands.