Ukraine agrees to 50% gas price hike amid IMF talks

IMF sowing the seeds of permanent dependence.

Ukraine’s interim government says it will raise gas prices for domestic consumers by 50% in an effort to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid package.

An official at Ukraine’s Naftogaz state energy company said the price rise would take effect on 1 May, and further rises would be scheduled until 2018.

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The IMF is also asking Ukraine to crack down on corruption and end central bank support for the Ukrainian currency.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s finance minister Olexander Shlapak said the country was seeking $15-20bn (£9-12bn) from the IMF.

The Financial Times has reported that a rescue package worth about $15bn is close to being agreed, and could be announced as early as Thursday.