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18:45
COOPERATION WITH EU ON ENERGY SAVING COULD CUT UKRAINE'S DEPENDENCE ON RUSSIAN GAS, SAYS EXPERT

Kyiv, August 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine could cut long-lasting dependency on Russian energy if the country actively develop long-term cooperation with the European Union (EU) in energy saving industry, Simon Pirani, a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, has said in an article for the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror Weekly) newspaper.

He said that before crisis started, energy expenses in the Ukrainian steel industry were facilitated thanks to loans issued by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other International Financial Institutions, as well as new European technologies.

In addition, EBRD jointly with European companies and Ukrainian partners has realized several projects on the introduction of energy-saving technologies in the heat supply systems.

"This cooperation is a long-lasting one, and its results are not seen at once, and the mass media don't pay much attention to this. However, this is the best way to reduce Ukraine's dependence on Russian gas and mitigate the tense in relations, which this dependence creates," Pirani said.

The expert said that Ukraine has also a huge potential in the gas sector, which could be interesting for Europe, in particular, Ukraine's underground gas storage facilities, most of which are located in western regions of Ukraine several kilometers far from the borders with Central European countries, which suffer a lack of these resources.

"The March memorandum called on provision of third-party access to the facilities on a transparent commercial terms. The offer could be realized irrespective of the geographical location of spots for Russian gas sales. It would take months and years for the process, as legal changes and corporate reforms are required, but benefits are obvious," Pirani said.

Another sphere for cooperation with the European Union could be gas extraction in Ukraine. However, the conditions for cooperation with foreign companies in the issue should become more transparent and attractive, the expert said.

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