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In Ukraine, Russian Gas Price Rises 79 Percent In April

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UKRAINE GAS
A Ukrainian soldier rests on a concrete cinder block as he mans a check point in the village of Strilkove, Ukraine, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Russia raised the stakes Saturday when its forces, backed by helicopter gunships and armored vehicles, took control of the Ukrainian village of Strilkove and a key natural gas distribution plant nearby? the first Russian military move into Ukraine beyond the Crimean peninsula of 2 million people. The Russian forces later returned the village but kept control | ASSOCIATED PRESS
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KIEV, March 27 (Reuters) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Thursday the price Ukraine paid for Russian gas supplies would rise 79 percent from April 1 to $480 per 1,000 cubic metres.

Speaking in parliament, Yatseniuk said the expected high price of gas imports from Russia from April was one of the factors pushing the country further towards economic disaster.

"Ukraine is on the edge of economic and financial bankruptcy," Yatseniuk said.

He said inflation in 2014 would be between 12 and 14 percent and unless laws were passed to support the austerity measures proposed by the IMF to stabilise the economy, GDP could fall 10 percent during the year and Ukraine could default. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Alessandra Prentice)

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