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Belgium to allocate nearly $10 million for Ukraine's energy infrastructure restoration

by Kateryna Hodunova May 10, 2024 5:21 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes: A worker walks through a burned-out control room at a power plant of energy provider DTEK, destroyed after an attack, in an undisclosed location in Ukraine on April 19, 2024. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Belgian government will provide Ukraine with an additional 9 million euros ($9.7 million) for energy infrastructure restoration, Belgium Development Cooperation Minister Caroline Gennez told the media outlet La Libre in an interview published on May 10.

Additional financial aid is part of the new Belgian assistance package for Ukraine, according to La Libre.

Moscow has recently intensified its missile and drone strikes against Ukraine's critical infrastructure, destroying several thermal power plants across the country. This included the Trypillia plant, the main electricity supplier to Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Cherkasy oblasts.

Russia carried out a large-scale attack on May 8 against Poltava, Kirovohrad, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, and Vinnytsia oblasts, mainly targeting energy infrastructure. At least two hydroelectric power plants had to be decommissioned as a result of the attack.

The additional funds will be directed to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under which Ukraine received the first generators at the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Since then, the UNDP has created a procurement system for equipment supplies to restore infrastructure damaged in Russian attacks.

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Gennez said that Ukrainian energy infrastructure is "outdated and centralized," making it vulnerable to strikes.

The UNDP pays special attention to "sustainable and decentralized energy sources," such as solar panels, to avoid an immediate power outage for a large number of citizens if one of the facilities is hit, the minister added.

Gennez also recalled recent attacks against Kharkiv Oblast, which suffers nearly every day strikes due to its proximity to the front line and the Russian state border.

"This is (Vladimir) Putin's usual tactic: to make life as difficult as possible for the Ukrainian population behind the front line to break it psychologically," Gennez said.

Belgium previously announced that it would pledge 200 million euros ($213 million) for the German-led air defense initiative and supply Kyiv with missiles, as Ukraine continues to face a shortage of air defense systems amid an uptick in Russian attacks.

Belgium may deliver first F-16 jets to Ukraine in 2024
“In coordination with our partners in the F-16 coalition, our country will make every effort to speed up deliveries, if possible, by the end of this year,” Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder said.

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1:05 PM

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