The Ukrzaliznytsia public joint-stock railway company will report a net loss of about UAH 1 billion for 2015, based on preliminary, unaudited financial statements. Minister of infrastructure Andrii Pyvovarskyi announced this in a statement, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

During a meeting of the parliament’s transport committee on Monday, 15 February, Pyvovarskyi attributed these figures to increased depreciation, the devaluation of the national currency, which made debt servicing more difficult, and increased prices of electricity, fuel, and lubricants.

According to Pyvovarskyi, Ukrzaliznytsia will make a net loss of UAH 6 billion and its capital investments will amount to only UAH 3.7 billion in 2016 if rail freight tariffs are not raised.

As reported earlier, the Ministry of Infrastructure has published a draft order that provides for raising rail freight rates to 15% on 1 March 2016. Associations representing the mining and metallurgical complex, the construction industry, the chemical industry, and the agricultural sector have demanded a moratorium on railway tariff increases until the end of 2016. According to them, a tariff increase would create significant risks for the Ukrainian economy, particularly for export-oriented industries, and reduce their competitiveness on world markets. They decided to establish a working group under the State Regulatory Service to study the impact of tariff increases on the operations of enterprises.