MOSCOW, May 5: Russia intends to raise extraction taxes and customs duties on natural gas, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Thursday in a move that could drastically impact the price paid on energy by Ukraine.

Kudrin told a government meeting that the hike was aimed at raising 150 billion rubles ($5.5 billion) next year as Russia moves to erase a budget deficit that reached 4.1 per cent of gross domestic product last year.

The Kommersant business daily quoted a government position paper as saying the higher customs duties would be applied to “specific foreign countries” and lead to a 30 per cent jump in the price paid by Ukraine.

Russia's western neighbour has had trouble meeting past energy payments and a pricing dispute resulted in a temporary halt in deliveries at the end of 2008 that led to brief disruption in supplies to some European countries.

Kudrin's announcement follows a government decision to revoke extraction tax exemption from several fields operated by Russia's largest oil companies.

Kommersant said the higher taxes proposal was being bitterly opposed by Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom and Igor Sechin the powerful deputy prime minister who oversees the energy sector.

But both Sechin and Gazprom supported the idea of raising customs duties since this would in no way affect the company's profits, Kommersant said.—AFP

Opinion

Elite politics

Elite politics

For most part, Pakistan’s fractious politics has seen fierce govt-opposition conflict and mutual efforts to upend each other.

Editorial

Extension legacy
Updated 05 Dec, 2022

Extension legacy

The practice of having individuals carry on well beyond their time is up.
Dodging accountability
05 Dec, 2022

Dodging accountability

A WARNING carried in these pages in August appears to have gone completely unheeded. Months ago, as the government...
Double standards
05 Dec, 2022

Double standards

IN a globalised world, if states fail to protect the human rights of their citizens, or worse, participate in ...
Retracted offer
04 Dec, 2022

Retracted offer

WITH so many U-turns under his belt, it was hardly surprising when on Saturday, PTI chairman Imran Khan decided to...
Embassy attack
Updated 04 Dec, 2022

Embassy attack

The Taliban should have enhanced the existing security arrangements.
Smog season
04 Dec, 2022

Smog season

FOR the past week, major cities of Pakistan have been among the top most polluted cities in the world. Lahore ranked...