‘Ukrainian gas – and renewables – can offer Europe energy security’


With the European Commission appearing likely to approve the inclusion of natural gas and nuclear power in its new sustainability taxonomy, the CEO of Ukraine‘s biggest energy company has called to strengthen his country's gas market to shore up Europe's energy security.

Speaking to Washington DC-based thinktank the Atlantic Council on Wednesday, DTEK chief executive Maxim Timchenko said Ukraine could hold the key to Europe's energy security at a time when the continent's reliance on Russian gas supplies has been highlighted by ongoing wrangles over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany and by rising energy prices.

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Timchenko mentioned the role renewables could play in Ukraine but also emphasized the importance of liberalizing the nation's gas market so supplies could flow more freely to Ukrainian and European energy consumers.

Easing European dependence on Russian gas would require regulatory change in Ukraine, said the DTEK chief, including “ensuring the development of green energy and stable domestic gas production, which is key both for the energy transition and for Ukraine’s energy security. And that has to involve the deregulation of Ukraine's gas industry.”

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With Russian and U.S. negotiators having last night met in Geneva ahead of talks this week to try and de-escalate a situation which has seen Russia mass troops on the Ukrainian border, the role energy – and the energy transition – will play in international relations was again highlighted by Timchenko's remarks, which were reported on Thursday by the press unit of the Ukrainian energy company.

Timchenko's call for a more prominent role for Ukrainian gas came as two EU advisory bodies prepare to submit their thoughts on the European Commission's recommendation gas and nuclear power be included in the bloc's definition of sustainable energy investments. As reported by SOAS London's Felicia Jackson for pv magazine, the commission's Platform on Sustainable Finance and the EU Member States Expert Group on Sustainable Finance will have until Wednesday to submit their thoughts on the proposal.

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