Ukraine will continue increasing domestic production of energy resources, President Viktor Yanukovych said in an exclusive interview for the joint project of The New York Times News Service & Syndicate and Segodnya Multimedia – "Ukraine and the World in 2012. Global Agenda," ForUm learned from the presidential press office.

The President noted that in 2011, Ukraine has increased the extraction of domestic gas and would continue this policy further on.

President Yanukovych also drew attention to the importance of seeking alternative energy sources for Ukraine. "Two years ago, we decided to increase the domestic production of energy resources. We actually increased coal production by 14 million tons in the two years," he said.

According to him, Ukraine produced 82 million tons of coal last year, with about 5 million tons left scrupulous. "We can use coal as an energy source to substitute gas, using the appropriate technology in such industries, as metallurgy, energy, etc.," Viktor Yanukovych said, adding that it is extremely important to optimize energy consumption as well.

The President reiterated that Ukraine pays an exorbitant price for Russian gas. "This is a problem that we have inherited, and currently, it is holding us back as if a noose. Because the price of gas at $516 is the highest price in the world ... Why do we have to pay for gas the most in the world? It is not fair and what is Ukraine being punished for with such a price is beyond comprehension. That is the question we are looking for an answer to, continuing our negotiations with Russia," said Viktor Yanukovych. He emphasized that the results of the Ukrainian-Russian gas talks will surely correspond to the national interests of our country.

Despite the high cost of gas for Ukraine, President Yanukovych said, the government has made sure that its price for the population does not increase. "The IMF, for example, demanded the increase of gas price for households and for utility companies. And it would have meant increasing the payment rent more than 100% and, of course, gas tariffs for the population to cover the deficit. We knew that such a burden for the population would be unbearable and did not do it," he said.

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