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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yushchenko Seeks to Free Oil Supplies

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree to ease domestic fuel market regulations and said the country needs to boost supplies of crude from Russia to refine products locally after a shortfall in gasoline supplies this month.

Yushchenko signed a decree "to stabilize the situation on the oil and oil product market," which urges the nation's legislators to end a 20 percent value added tax on oil shipped across Ukraine, according to a copy of the ruling published on Yushchenko's web site. The oil tariffs may also be reviewed by the government within two weeks.

"This is a withdrawal from administrative mechanisms for fuel price regulation," Dmitry Marunich, a spokesman at state-run Naftogaz Ukrainy, said by telephone from Kiev, citing the company's chief executive, Oleksiy Ivchenko.

The Ukrainian government agreed to cap domestic fuel prices from mid-April until the end of May. The country's biggest retailers last month also agreed to cut prices. LUKoil this week limited gasoline sales to 10 liters per car in Ukraine after drivers rushed to buy fuel before the end of May.

The government will review plans to create a reserve for gasoline and diesel within a month, according to Yushchenko's ruling.

"Oil shipping tariffs may also be cut," Naftogaz's Marunich said Thursday.

Yushchenko on Wednesday signed a law to cut sales tax and scrap duties on oil products to encourage more imports.