The EU is working to ensure Ukraine will maintain a stable energy supply, despite the war being waged on the country by Russia.
That’s according to the European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, who described Ukraine as “a country that deserves all the support of the Union against an unprovoked and unjustifiable violent aggression.”
She affirmed she was in constant conversation with the Ukrainian Energy Minister Galushenko for updates on the country’s ongoing needs and stressed that although electricity and gas cuts had occurred, “power and gas infrastructures continue to operate steadily.”
Ukraine is also in the process of having its power grid connected with the rest of Europe, to lower its reliance on Russia and provide the country with more autonomy in its energy mix and production. Ms Simson stressed that the European Commission is working with Galushenko to push this through as soon as possible.
She explained that EU sanctions include a ban on exports of specific refining technologies. In this instance, these technologies are built in Europe and if there is a block on trade, Russia will not be able to access them; leaving its oil refineries in need of desperate upgrades.
This is one of the ways it is considering both stabilising European security of supply but also sanctioning Russia for its actions in Ukraine, as in 2019 revenues from refined oil for Russia reached €24 billion (£19.8bn).
She explained to protect European supply, liquefied natural gas (LNG) would play a crucial role in replacing missing pipeline gas and the EU is in contact with LNG suppliers to ensure sanctions on Russia do not cripple the European market.
Ms Simson also stated on the risk of a price shock: “The Commission stands ready to propose extraordinary measures in case of an escalation of prices that threatens our social and economic resilience.”
“We are faced with multiple challenges which seem to point to the same direction: security of supply, affordable energy and climate change. Our best option to address them is delivering on resilience, diversification and energy transition.
“It has become painfully clear that we cannot afford to leave to any third country the power to destabilise our energy markets or influence our energy choices,” she concluded.