KIEV, Sept. 28 ‚Äď Naftogaz Ukrayiny, the national oil and gas company, is on the verge of bankruptcy as it is facing $1.5 billion in losses this year, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said Thursday.
Naftogaz is Ukraine‚Äôs biggest taxpayer and the government relies heavily on the company for meeting budget revenue forecasts. The company handles about 80% of Russian natural gas shipments to Europe via Ukrainian pipelines.
‚ÄúDue to excessive tax pressure and [ineffective] management over the past 1.5 years, this company is now on the verge of bankruptcy,‚ÄĚ Yanukovych said at a government meeting.
This is the strongest wording that has so far been used by the government to describe the company‚Äôs ailing financial health.
The company‚Äôs problems may lead to a downgrade of its credit rating by leading agencies, making it even more difficult for the company to borrow money to pay the debts.
Continued on page 2