From a man who knows: Jim Sinclair’s Commentary The entire Ukraine will be praying to be Russian by the time the IMF gets finished with them. Retirement payments are due to drop almost 50%. Ukraine gas prices may have to rise 40% to satisfy IMF: minister Brussels (Platts)–20Mar2014/418 pm EDT/2018 GMT Ukraine’s retail gas prices may have to rise 40% as part of economic reforms needed to unlock loans from the International Monetary Fund, Ukrainian energy minister Yuriy Prodan told reporters in Brussels Thursday. "This is an unpopular reform…an extraordinary measure needed to get out of the crisis," Prodan said. Ukraine would need real support from the international community to start developing the economy, he added. The EU has said that its proposed Eur11 billion ($15 billion) financial aid package to Ukraine is conditional on Ukraine implementing economic reforms agreed with the IMF and the gas sector reforms agreed under Ukraine’s energy community membership. Prodan said there was an IMF mission in Ukraine assessing the situation, and he could not say yet when the price rises would start. "We are short of time to have a smooth price rise. It has to be done urgently, it’s the only thing to relaunch the economy," he said.