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Ukraine to Raise Gas Prices by Half

Ukraine has agreed on a 50% increase of gas prices for domestic consumers.

Hike of gas bills is part of conditionality set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if Ukraine is to be granted an aid package.

State energy company Naftogaz reported that price changes will be into force from May 1, with more rises due to be made until 2018.

Key South Stream Shareholder Doubts Its Future

The future of the South Stream pipeline is unclear and probably it will not be realized soon, said the head of the Italian company Eni, Paolo Scaroni. 

Eni is one of the key shareholders in the project and holds 20% of its shares. Eni is the largest Italian gas company and the main distributor of gas from Russia's Gazprom in Italy.  

EU, US Impose Sanctions on Russia


The EU and the US have imposed travel bans and asset freezes against a number of Russian and Ukrainian officials.

The sanctions are targeting figures that are seen as having a key role in the March 16 referendum in which Crimea's population has voted in favour of seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.

Crimean Authorities Claim Oil and Gas Fields

Crimean authorities took control of Ukraine's Black Sea and Sea of Azov oil and gas fields off the coast of the peninsula.

The speaker of Crimea's parliament Volodymyr Konstantinov told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that the Russian companies including energy giant Gazprom should be involved in extracting the resources.