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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tymoshenko Vows to End Fuel Crisis

APUkrainian prices for gasoline and other fuel products have leapt by more than 10 percent over the past month.
KIEV -- Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said Monday that shortages and rising prices on Ukraine's fuel market were a "plot" and vowed to restore order within two weeks.

Prices for gasoline and other fuel products leaped by more than 10 percent last month. The government has struggled to stabilize the situation by freezing prices, banning exports and introducing checks at service stations across the country.

Russian oil companies, which control major Ukrainian refineries and dominate the retail fuel market, responded by refusing to sell gasoline at some stations. Drivers have had to line up for hours for gasoline in the last two days.

"We will cope fully within two weeks with this present situation which we have been handed. We will take two weeks to get the situation back to normal," Tymoshenko told a news conference.

"The crisis is absolutely artificial. It is no more than a plot, sabotage. They want to put Ukraine in its place."

Tymoshenko gave no details on measures planned by her government.

Ukraine depends heavily on energy imports and buys up to 80 percent of its energy resources in neighboring Russia.

Tymoshenko has previously said Ukraine is considering reducing imports of Russian oil after Moscow imposed a big increase in duties.

 Ukraine's Kherson oil refinery, owned by Russia's private Alliance Group, will remain in turnaround until the last 10 days of the month, extending the shutdown of a key unit, Alliance Ukraine said Monday.

The company said in a statement it had finished a major reconstruction of the gasoline-making catalytic reformer, as well as routine maintenance on a crude unit.