TALLINN – The EU commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, visited Ukraine Tuesday to discuss with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Minister of Energy German Galushchenko and international partners the immediate concrete support for its battered energy sector in a context where Russia's persistent and deliberate targeting of Ukrainian energy infrastructure over the past weeks and months has caused extensive damage to the country's energy system.
The head of state thanked the European commissioner for his visit to Ukraine precisely at the time when the energy infrastructure faces massive attacks by missiles and drones from Russia, a press release by Zelensky's office says.
Zelensky also noted the role of Kadri Simson in Ukraine's accession to the European power grid ENTSO-E. He reminded that after accession, Ukraine began to export electricity to Europe and can act as one of the guarantors of the stability of the EU energy system. Because of the ongoing attacks, Ukraine has been forced to stop exporting electricity to Europe.
"Unfortunately, due to the strikes of missiles and kamikaze drones by the Russian Federation on our energy system, we have suspended this process. But I am sure that we will restore everything, and in a calmer time, when the situation in our energy system will be stabilized, we will continue exporting electricity to Europe," the president of Ukraine emphasized.
Zelensky informed the European commissioner about the consequences of Russia’s energy terrorism, which has already seriously damaged about 40 percent of the entire energy infrastructure of Ukraine, in particular thermal power plants, combined heat and power plants and hydroelectric power plants, as well as about the measures taken by the state to stabilize the work of the power grid.
Simson meanwhile said that in its war against Ukraine, Russia has turned energy into a battlefield.
"And on this battlefield, the EU fights next to Ukraine. Russia is deliberately targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure to increase human suffering as winter approaches. Our top priority is to protect millions of families in Ukraine from the cold and the dark. We need a joint effort by governments, institutions and private companies in the EU and beyond to scale up the support that we are already providing," Simson said according to a European Commission press release.
She assured president Zelensky that the EU is reaching out to partners to help with the dedicated support needed.
During the meeting, Simson received from Zelensky the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, 3rd Class, which had been awarded to her earlier.