The Ukrainian authorities have taken care in advance to ensure that gas tariffs for the population remain stable with the start of the heating season, in particular by introducing a fixed annual tariff plan from Naftogaz of Ukraine. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview for ICTV within the Freedom of Speech program.
The Head of State noted that in autumn some politicians traditionally start spreading panic among citizens that the country will not pass the heating season.
"I want to reassure everyone. I believe that the authorities have taken many important, substantive and timely actions. Today there is enough gas for society, enough gas for consumers. Despite the gas shortage, which arose for obvious reasons in Europe, we have not just enough gas, but enough gas at normal prices, compared to European ones," said the President.
According to him, if the Ukrainian authorities had not intervened in this situation in advance, the price of gas in Ukraine for the population would be at least UAH 50 per 1 cubic meter, but currently the price of natural gas for the population from NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine is about 8 UAH per 1 cubic meter.
"This is a package for the year, which we introduced very timely," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
The Head of State also stressed that electricity tariffs in Ukraine are not rising, although its price is increasing on the world market.
"Our electricity remained (at the same price - ed.) as it was before the heating season. Conversely, the price has decreased for low-income groups of people. And I am convinced that despite these challenges - and they are difficult - we are going into the heating season with a stable policy," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The President noted that in some regions there are now some technical issues that will be resolved. He reminded that during the meeting of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities held in Kyiv on September 30, a Memorandum was signed between the government, NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine and representatives of local authorities on non-increase of tariffs.
"NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine and the central government guarantee two things: a specific stable price and a stable volume (of gas - ed.). Then there are technical issues, legal and political issues of some local authorities. All this, I am sure, will be settled, and everyone will receive gas - I can't say at the desired price - but in any case it will be a normal price," the President said.
He added that Head of Naftogaz of Ukraine Yuriy Vitrenko was tasked with constantly being in dialogue with local authorities and helping solve certain energy problems.
Regarding the situation in Europe, Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that after the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project, it is very important that the requirements of the EU's Third Energy Package be applied to it. But Russia opposes this, so it uses its gas volume to put pressure on Europe. And today we can see unexpectedly high gas prices in European markets.
“Nord Stream 2 is a modern weapon… A new weapon has appeared - energy. Nobody knows the consequences of this weapon yet - we have not passed the winter, Europe has not passed the winter. We will see what will happen in the spring," the President said.
At the same time, according to the President, Ukraine should be one step ahead, not just react to the current situation, because after this winter the next one will come, and the current contract for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine expires in 2024.
"Therefore, we will definitely prepare the transformation of Ukraine's energy security and show it to people in the near future," Volodymyr Zelenskyy summed up.