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Zelensky backs plans for strengthening energy sector ahead of winter

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 7, 2023 4:49 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a meeting on Nov. 4, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Viktor Kovalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky approved on Nov. 7 a plan by the National Security and Defense Council proposed the same day for stabilizing Ukraine's energy sector in preparation for the coming winter months.

Short-term measures proposed by the Council, which the government should carry out within a month, include repaying debts on the electricity and gas markets, providing support for state-owned enterprises, and increasing the throughput capacity of the gas transportation system, among others.

Within a two-month period, the government is expected to strengthen alternative energy production and introduce criminal liability for unauthorized gas withdrawal by operators or industrial consumers.

Long-term tasks, to be completed within half a year, focus on the modernization of the country's energy infrastructure, taking into account its efficiency and sustainability.

Another step included in the decree is the extension of the Ukrainian gas export ban until 2024.

Concrete assignments were also given by the Council to the Energy Ministry, the Reconstruction Ministry, the state energy regulator, and local authorities.

As Ukraine braces for an uptick in Russian strikes against the energy grid in winter, preparations are being made to mitigate the damage and defend critical infrastructure.

Russia has repeatedly attacked critical infrastructure across Ukraine since early October 2022, killing dozens of people and causing mass power outages across the country.

Moscow has admitted that Ukraine's energy system is one of its primary targets. According to the Geneva Convention, attacking vital public infrastructure constitutes a war crime.

Kyiv’s local businesses gear up for another difficult winter
Reflecting on last fall, Anya Selezen recalls the painful moment that Russia launched 84 missiles and 24 kamikaze drones at Ukraine on Oct. 10, the first of a long series of devastating attacks targeting the country’s critical infrastructure through the winter. “It was very hard. We didn’t have

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