Kovaliv says Naftogaz will cut subsidies to consumers, but still give them to those who really need help. In 2014 subsidy payouts totaled Hr 110 billion ($4.4 billion) from both the state budget and the gas monopoly. In 2015 that figure fell to Hr 43 billion ($1.72 billion), with Hr 25 billion ($1 billion) coming from the state budget and the rest from Naftogaz. In 2016 there will be no help coming from the state budget, and Naftogaz will pay Hr 40 billion ($1.6 billion) in subsidies.
“We’re becoming more efficient in terms of what we subsidize, and what’s more important, to whom we give these subsidies,” Kovaliv said.
If Ukraine can hold gas prices at international levels, while investing into extraction and sustainable energy, Kovaliv says Ukraine could be nearly energy independent by 2020.
“That means we won’t be importing gas, it means that we’ll have energy security, and it means that gas won’t be a political issue,” Kovaliv added.