"Everyone in Ukraine knows that a situation of cheap energy subsidized by a third country, specifically Russia, is a thing of the past," Woellert said, adding that subsidies, if they are to exist, must be provided internally, "only there is a question about who should do so."
Last month, Ukraine's new government agreed to the demands of the International Monetary Fund to increase internal gas prices to market rates. Beginning May 1, the government abolished the subsidized rate provided during the winter season, with gas prices rising by 91%. Now households and businesses must pay a uniform rate for heating and hot water of 6,879 hyrvnia (about $270 US) per thousand cubic meters.
Household consumers have already complained that the rate, set to rise further beginning in July, was 'cannibalistic', with rural residents resorting to heating their homes, preparing meals and heating up water using wood stoves instead of gas.
The rate hike was one of the conditions by the IMF for Ukraine to obtain the next tranche of the $17 billion loan agreed upon last year.