Private companies in Ukraine refused to sell petroleum products at the prices imposed by the government, calling them "unjustified. Representatives of the owners of petrol stations and refineries, who include Russian business people, told a news conference on Tuesday that they would not suspend operation and sell at market prices.
TNK-BP Ukraine president Alexander Gorodetsky said the company is resuming sales through its network of 51 petrol stations. It suspended sales after Ukrainian authorities fined one of the petrol stations for exceeding price limitation.
"Petrol stations will begin to work with non-recommended prices," Gorodetsky said.
The official noted that the order by the Ministry of Economy to introduce fixed wholesale prices of fuel, as well as the recommendation to local authorities for a 13-percent surcharge has "weak legitimacy."
The document will become effective on April 25, i.e. ten days after the registration, and is valid until May 1, as one of its provisions states.
According to LUKOIL-Ukraine oil company director general Feiruz Isayev, the Odessa-based refinery will lose 3.5 million dollars a month if it operates with the government-imposed prices.
For his part, the president of the Alliance-Ukraine oil company, head of the Kazakhoil-Ukraine office Pyotr Miroshnikov said the Kherson-based refinery will lose 40 dollars per each tonne of oil.
If the Ministry's order comes into force, investors might reconsider their plans to invest in the refinery because of unpredictability of the Ukrainian market, Miroshnikov said.
Earlier, a number of leaders of oil companies in Ukraine requested Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko to have a meeting to discuss the situation on the market of petroleum products.