The gas price is of no fundamental importance to Ukraine if the authorities conduct their policy wisely, the leader of the Ukrainian NGO Civil Position, MP Anatoliy Hrytsenko, said yesterday, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

"If we want to walk with our backs straight, rather than crawling on our knees, it means that we'll have to pay a market-oriented gas price. In any case, it won't so much matter what the president said or didn't say, or why the premier kept silent while observing the war in the Caucasus," his organization quoted him as saying.

"With a wise policy from our authorities, the gas price is of no fundamental importance to Ukraine. It won't be vague - it will be market-oriented," Hrytsenko said.

The politician proposed looking at the Ukrainian energy sector realistically.

Hrytsenko said that Ukraine had great advantages than other European countries. Among them are an annual production of over 20 billion cubic meters of domestic gas, a strategic gas pipeline that provided an additional 28 billion cubic meters of gas to the country's gas supplies in 2004-2005, coal stocks to last 400 years, and despite all of the problems in this sector, with all of the potential capacity, this serves as a huge reserve for reducing gas consumption, he said.

He also said that the state should not hold talks on the gas price for business structures.

"We should clearly outline the role of our state. Our high-ranking officials, ministers and presidents shouldn't crawl on their knees at the talks, seeking a low gas price for people who increase their income by five to ten billion [hryvnias] every year. Let these people pay a market-oriented price, and they can afford that. Of course, the state will help them as structures that create workplaces and transfer money to the budget in the form of taxes. But the state shouldn't agree on the gas price for businessmen. Let them buy [gas] on the market," Hrytsenko said.


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