“The way in which presidential candidates compete on the issue of gas prices is a certain manipulation. We understand that it is definitely possible to reduce the price of gas. Almost two-fold. Because today 40% of the price of gas is the profit of Naftogaz of Ukraine. But the question is: can a presidential candidate assume responsibility when promising people a price reduction without determining the source of compensation for international debts that Ukraine has this year,” said Samopomich deputy Aliona Babak.
She explains: Ukraine’s debt obligations account for 40% of the state budget. And a part of this money comes to us in the form of funds from the IMF, that is, in fact, this is refinancing. But the IMF expects that Ukraine, having increased the price of gas, will receive money in the form of dividends to the budget, and these dividends will be used to pay off our debts.
So, every presidential candidate who promises a reduction in the price of gas should explain where he/she will take money from to pay off loans. Or how he/she will explain to the IMF the intentions to return the country to the gas prices of previous periods.
Samopomich presidential candidate Andriy Sadovyi does not promise a reduction in gas prices, his priorities are different. He could initiate new negotiations with the IMF, without mentioning the reduction in the price of gas, but preventing the subsequent increase in this price.
Babak says, “Our team does not promise to reduce the price of gas by half, our team is fighting to ensure that the price of gas does not grow in the future. After all, going back would mean violating all existing agreements with our international partners, who gave us guarantees to prevent default in Ukraine. To say that we will come back to the past rates is irresponsible. Sadovyi’s team stands for ensuring that there are no further price increases before we see that at least 33% of apartment buildings are insulated or 100% of apartments have gas metres – this is what Sadovyi’s team can commit to through negotiations with the same IMF.”
Andriy Sadovyi proposes a further demonopolization of the energy markets through the creation of a power exchange that could reduce the price of oil, gas, and coal for the production of electricity and supply of gas to each apartment.
“Andriy Sadovyi says that today the insulation programs and energy efficiency are a priority of the state. Because no matter how much we reduce or increase the price of gas, if a person stays in a house where heat is lost and thus funds are wasted, economic mismanagement occurs. We have to start with a serious insulation of buildings,” says Aliona Babak.
So what is happening now? As a matter of fact, the Energy Efficiency Fund has been there for two years already, but not a single hryvnia has been spent yet. The “warm loans” programs were significantly underfunded in the past year despite the huge demand.
Today, the priority of the Samopomich team is to ensure the economic and energy security of the state, primarily through restoring order in every home where the energy resources are consumed. As noted by Babak, we cannot be further dependent on gas imports: “Without dependence on gas imports, we can be a serious player in the European energy market. Because Ukraine today is the second largest gas producer in Europe. We provide ourselves with 60% of our own gas – this is including the industrial consumption. As for the needs of the population – we almost fully provide for ourselves. The goal is to ensure energy security for ourselves through energy efficiency, through the development of green energy. And all this is present in Andriy Sadovyi’s election program.”