Ukraine needs to raise gas prices in order to ensure a budget deficit of 2.5% in 2012, Charles Seville, associate director in Fitch Ratings' Sovereign group, said during the 6th Fitch annual conference, according to UKRINFORM.

Public finances are in a consolidated form; the budget for 2012 is quite promising; budget deficit is forecast at 3.5% in 2011, and it will be quite difficult to reach a deficit of 2.5% due to Naftogaz of Ukraine's deficit of about 1%, he said adding, it is necessary to raise gas prices to hit this target.

He also noted that the Eurobond market is still closed for Ukraine. There is a shortage of finance in Ukraine, the expert said adding, the ministry of finance underfulfilled the indicators plan and thus the Eurobond market is closed for Ukraine now.

He also believes that Ukraine should continue cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, including in order to reduce the risks associated with repetition of the financial and economic crisis.

Seville also added that the Ukrainian government should make every effort to expedite signing of the agreement on a free trade zone with the European Union. According to him, this will contribute to the growth of the Ukrainian economy.

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