Ukraine parliament approves EU-backed electricity reform

Ukraine‘s parliament passed an electricity market law on Thursday that the European Union sees as a key step towards increased competitiveness and closer integration with EU markets.

Ahead of the vote, the EU delegation in Ukraine said the latest reform, which will lead to more flexible prices and break up the monopoly of state firms over the power distribution network, was urgently needed.

“Once it is adopted, we will continue to support the Ukrainian government in implementing this crucial reform in order to increase transparency in buying and selling electricity,” it said.

“The draft law allows for more energy efficient use of electricity, and it is also a further step towards integration with EU electricity markets.”

The Western-backed government has been slowly modernizing the energy sector, including raising consumer prices to market levels, to comply with a $17.5 billion aid-for-reforms bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

But the changes have been challenged by some opposition parties, who say they have increased the financial burden on Ukrainians already struggling to make ends meet after a protracted recession.

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