Ukraine will double its energy exports to Europe as European Union nations cope with an energy standoff with Russia amid an international gas crisis.
The European association for the cooperation of transmission system operators (ENTSO-E) confirmed Wednesday it would increase its electricity imports from Ukraine just one month after Kyiv joined Europe’s energy market.
Last month, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy Herman Halushchenko announced that Europe’s energy system would begin electricity exports under Ukraine’s transmission system, Ukrenergo.
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Halushchenko this week said Ukraine can start to help alleviate European energy woes after EU nations agreed Tuesday to further cut their gas use by 15% through next winter.
The decision was reportedly made in the attempt to lower consumption to counter the impact in the case that Moscow stopped gas supplies altogether amid increasingly strained Russian-European relations.
The move prompted immediate backlash from Russia as Moscow cut gas supplies through its Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany.
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The pipeline – which served as the major supplier of European gas needs from Russia prior to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – saw only one-fifth of its gas capacity flowing to Germany on Wednesday.
The reduction in gas supplies has pushed Europe to look for other means to beef up its gas stocks ahead of the upcoming fall and winter months.
However, officials remain concerned by mounting gas prices and the threat of an impending recession.
In March, Ukraine submitted a request to join the ENTSO-E and, by June, Kyiv was approved to begin exporting energy to Europe, starting with small quantities of electricity to Romania.
Ukraine began exporting to Slovakia this month, and Hungary and Moldova are expected to be the next European nations to receive energy imports.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this week that Kyiv hopes to become “one of the guarantors of European energy security.”
“Our exports would not only allow us to increase our income in foreign currency but will also help our partners to resist Russian energy pressure,” he added.