President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy convened the Cabinet of Ministers, representatives of the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities, the head of Naftogaz of Ukraine and specialists in the field of economy, electricity and gas energy to address the issue of high gas prices for Ukrainians.
"Market prices are too high today, especially given the pandemic. We as a state must protect our citizens in economic terms, too," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
After a long discussion, the parties decided to reduce the price of gas below the market price. This means a reduction by more than 30%.
"Today, at a meeting chaired by the President of Ukraine, a decision was made to introduce a state regulation of gas prices for the period of quarantine. This does not mean that we are moving away from market regulation of gas prices, but since the situation is currently extremely difficult with quarantine restrictions, with COVID, with the possibility for people to receive additional income, state regulation will be introduced. Today, some regional gas companies sell gas at a price, which is approximately 10 hryvnias higher, i.e. with the introduction of this regulation there will be a reduction in gas prices by more than 30%," Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal noted.
According to Acting Minister of Energy Yuriy Vitrenko, this decision should be implemented and become fully operational in February.
"That is, from February 1, all consumers in Ukraine will pay significantly less for natural gas. I can say that, according to our data, the average price of gas in Ukraine in January was higher than 9,600 hryvnias. Accordingly, the price for the population of Ukraine will be reduced to 6,999 hryvnias on average," Yuriy Vitrenko said.
"In addition, there are a number of decisions on gas distribution prices - the so-called subscription fee. We also worked on this with the relevant committee, deputies of the Verkhovna Rada - we will ask for the adoption of a relevant bill and the reduction of the price in the field of gas distribution," Denys Shmyhal noted.
"However, you should remember that we keep the reform. These changes are not a step backwards. These are the changes that every Ukrainian needs due to the difficult economic situation in which we found ourselves due to the pandemic. Tariff grid restriction is an ideology of quarantine measures only,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.