The International Monetary Fund (IMF) still expects Ukraine to increase gas tariffs in order to continue financial cooperation, IMF Resident Representative in Ukraine Max Alier said at a round table in Kyiv on Sept. 12.
"As for the issue of gas prices, this condition was included in the program. It remains very important," he said.
Alier said that it was necessary to take such a step to reduce the expenditures of the state budget on supporting Naftogaz Ukrainy.
He said that the IMF had agreed on the need to protect the poor from rising energy prices, but is against subsidizing people who can pay for gas at higher prices. In this regard, he recalled that the Ukrainian government had pledged to raise gas prices by 50% in April 2011, but subsequently these requirements had been relaxed.
Alier also said that the situation in relations to Ukraine was not limited solely to the issue of an increase in gas tariffs. He noted that IMF experts were continuing to hold discussions with the government on the parameters of the state budget for 2012. Alier said that the state budget deficit in 2012 was expected at 2.5% of GDP, whereas this year it was 3.5%.