Ukraine to hike domestic gas prices by 50 pct to meet IMF demands

KIEV, March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:03am EDT

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KIEV, March 26 (Reuters) - Ukraine is raising the price of gas for domestic consumers by more than 50 per cent from May 1 and will implement further rises under a fixed timetable until 2018, an official of state energy company Naftogaz said on Wednesday.

The step, which will be widely unpopular with ordinary Ukrainians who have grown used to subsidised gas prices from the Soviet era, were taken in response to demands by the International Monetary Fund.

The interim government of Arseny Yatseniuk is in the final stages of talks with the Fund to secure $15-20 billion in a new aid package. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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