Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection, Oleksii Orzhel, said that the price of natural gas for the population in the first quarter of 2020 will be below UAH 8,550 per thousand cubic meters. He said this during the Freedom of Speech program on the ICTV TV channel on Monday, Ukrainian News Agency reports. "I think that the government will ensure that the gas price in the first quarter of 2020 is lower than the price in the first quarter of 2019 and this is important, as gas transit may stop," Orzhel said. At the same time, he added that in the Ukrainian underground gas storages (UGS) there are enough gas reserves to go through the 2019\/2020 heating season even without transit. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the Naftogaz of Ukraine national joint-stock company has raised the price of gas for the population by 14.6% or UAH 622.24 per 1000 cubic meters on public service obligation (PSO) to UAH 4,899 per 1000 cubic meters (without VAT and cost of transportation) for November. On November 2, Ukraine stopped pumping and began withdrawal of natural gas from underground storage facilities. As of November 2, gas reserves in the underground gas storage facilities amounted to 21.785 billion cubic meters, thus, since the start of the pumping season, which started on April 5, gas reserves in underground gas storage facilities have increased 2.5 times or by 13.040 billion cubic meters. The board chairperson of the of the Naftogaz of Ukraine national joint-stock company, Andrii Kobolev, notes that the reserves in the UGS facilities before the 2019\/2020 heating season reached their maximum value over 9 years.