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IMF tells Ukraine to hike gas bills for households

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May 28, 2012, 1:42 p.m. | Ukraine — by Associated Press

Head of the International Monetary Fund mission to Ukraine Chris Jarvis speaks to reporters in Kiev May 28, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine. The IMF urged Ukrainian authorities to press ahead with austerity measures to unfreeze a $15.6 billion bailout loan.
© AP

The International Monetary fund has told Ukraine it must raise gas and heating prices for households if it is to regain access to a $15.6 bailout loan from the fund. The government of President Viktor Yanukovych has been reluctant to make the unpopular move ahead of parliamentary elections in October. That led the IMF to freeze the bailout program last spring.

The head of the IMF mission to Ukraine, Chris Jarvis, notes Ukrainian families currently pay one-fifth of the import price for natural gas.

He told reporters on Monday that the Fund will resume talks only after "some actions from the government."

Ukraine is hoping to get a price discount for Russian natural gas, but talks with Moscow have been unsuccessful so far.
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