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US, Ukraine sign memorandum on strengthening Ukrainian energy system

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 25, 2023 2:44 PM 2 min read
Workers dismantle on Nov. 10, 2022 an autotransformer that stands completely destroyed after the Ukrenergo high voltage power substation in central Ukraine was directly hit by a missile strike on Oct. 17, 2022. (Photo by Ed Ram/Getty Images)
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The U.S. and Ukraine have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at improving Ukraine's energy resilience, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine reported on Sept. 24.

Subject to the availability of funds, the U.S. plans to supply Ukraine with $522 million in energy-related assistance, including $100 million provided on the condition Kyiv makes progress in some energy sector reforms.

The agreement entails the countries’ cooperation in restoring critical infrastructure, introducing distributed energy generation, transforming the energy sector, and facilitating Ukraine's post-war transition to “a low-carbon, competitive, and EU-integrated energy economy.”

Washington and Kyiv also pledged to collaborate on protecting Ukraine’s most critical energy infrastructure, including anti-drone and anti-missile defense, among other measures, the U.S. Embassy wrote.

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To implement the memorandum, the participants intend to set up a Steering Committee made up of Ukrainian and U.S. officials, which will hold quarterly meetings to assess progress.

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine emphasized that the memorandum is not an obligation of funds as it’s not intended “to give rise to rights or obligations under international or domestic law.”

On Sept. 21, Russia launched the first mass strike on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in six months, according to the state energy operator Ukrenergo.

During the fall of 2022 and winter of 2023, Russian forces attempted to cripple Ukraine's energy network with massive strikes, leading to frequent blackouts and a lack of heating across the country.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Russia is likely to attempt this strategy again next winter.

Ukrainian energy company on Russia’s attacks on infrastructure: ‘No system in the world has faced the same’
Ukraine faces its most challenging winter as Russia relentlessly strikes its energy system to plunge the nation into cold and darkness. Since mid-October, Russia’s carried out five mass missile attacks that have damaged 40% of Ukraine’s energy system and made long power outages a new reality for ma…
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