#Commentary of Marina Zheynova on why Ukraine buys cheaper gas and increases tariffs again
Another round of price increase for utilities has started in Ukraine. It has long been known that the price of gas in Ukraine is manually regulated by the Cabinet of Ministers, not by economic or market factors. The only thing is that the regulator, for some reason, always acts not in support of ordinary consumers, but in the interests of oligarchic clans, which plan to increase the price of gas by 19% once again.
This is facilitated by such state companies as “Naftogaz of Ukraine”, which now acts as a coalition with monopolists and demands from the government 110 billion hryvnias for gas supplies under special obligations. The argument is simple: given that the government refused to raise the tariff in July, it is now either to compensate for losses or to raise the tariff for population.
The inhabitants of Ukraine took the fall once again. And though Ukraine has now started to increase volume of purchases of the Russian gas directly through Gazprom, instead of last year’s scheme (the same gas, but only through the EU countries at an inflated price). At the same time, Gazprom further reduced the transit of its gas through the gas-transport system of Ukraine by 25% and delivered it through the “Nord Stream”, bypassing the territory of the country, which called the Russian Federation ‘an aggressor’ at the legislative level. But the fact is that Ukraine buys cheaper gas from now on, but tariffs for population keep raising. In addition, Naftogaz decided to make a secret out of the Stockholm Court’s decision on the dispute with Gazprom on the supply of Russian gas to Ukraine.
If the saved money went to the development of infrastructure, modernization of housing stock and enterprises, it would be possible to understand. But, alas, there were a few incidents in a housing and communal sector only in the last week in Ukraine. This is also an accident on a water supply line in Cherkassy, where residents were left without water for three days, and its authorities did not even organize fuel water and introduced a state of emergency only three days later. And the turning off the heat in higher education institutions, which cannot pay for these huge bills. And a sewerage system accident (large-diameter sewer), which already leads to an environmental catastrophe. People had flooded houses, cellars, sewage runoff even reached the second floor in multi-storey blocks, and community services were inactive for two days. The question arises: where is the money paid for communal services? Apparently, the question is rhetorical.
And we managed not to raise tariffs in our Republic, despite the military actions, as well to bind them at pre-war level, and the tariff for water in some settlements was lowered by the decree of the Head of the Republic, both for population and for business.
Marina Zheynova, the DPR People’s Council deputy