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EU energy commissioner backs increased electricity imports to Ukraine

by Abbey Fenbert April 16, 2024 5:01 AM 2 min read
EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson arrives for an informal EU Energy Ministers meeting in the Palais d'Egmont (Egmont Palace) on April 15, 2024 in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson supports Ukraine's proposal to increase its capacity for electricity imports from the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said on April 15.

Simson and Halushchenko met on the sidelines of an informal meeting of E.U. energy ministers in Brussels. Halushchenko discussed the urgent energy infrastructure needs Ukraine faces amid an ongoing Russian assault on the country's power grid.

"The Russians want to achieve a complete blackout of Ukraine," Halushchenko told the ministers.

"Therefore, it is very important to consolidate our efforts in order to resist Russian aggression next winter."

Halushchenko urged EU member states to assist in Ukraine's recovery, which involves not only repairing damaged facilities but also increasing generation capacity and developing decentralization solutions.

80% of DTEK’s energy capacity damaged, destroyed after Russian March attacks
In March, Russian attacks damaged or completely destroyed 80% of the thermal generating capacity of Ukraine’s largest private energy company DTEK, the company’s Executive Director Dmytro Sakharuk said on March 30.

In particular,  Halushchenko called for a loosening of the restrictions that govern the cross-border electricity trade between Ukraine and other ENTSO-E countries. ENTSO-E represents 39 different operators in 35 European countries, and its interconnected electrical grid is the largest in the world.

"Thermal and hydropower generation, as well as electricity transmission system facilities, suffered the greatest losses. The most difficult situation remains with the electricity supply in Kharkiv and Kharkiv Oblast, which are located in close proximity to the Russian border and are subject to regular shelling with all types of weapons," he said.

According to the Energy Ministry, Simson supported an ENTSO-E solution to increase electricity imports. Simson also highlighted the importance of the EU's Energy Support Fund for Ukraine in purchasing equipment necessary for Ukraine's infrastructure recovery.  

Halushchenko went on to discuss Russian attacks on Ukrainian gas infrastructure and described the attacks as a threat to European energy security.

"Ukraine's energy infrastructure — the electricity transmission system, gas transportation system, and underground gas storage facilities — has long been part of the overall European energy system, and therefore any attack on the Ukrainian energy sector jeopardizes the EU's energy security. That is why non-standard responses to the unprecedented challenges Ukraine is facing must be found," he said.

Russia intensifies attacks on Kharkiv, draining Ukraine’s air defense and civilian morale
This was the first time since 2022 that Russian troops used a glide air bomb, reportedly a new-type UMPB D-30 munition, to kill residents of Ukraine’s second-largest city.
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