Ukrainian Energy Day
10 July 2018
The Nordstream 2 project will lead to the isolation of the countries of Eastern Europe and leaving them in the Russian sphere… of influence of the gas monopoly. On the other hand, Ukraine calls for reviewing the process of synchronising the Baltic states with the power grid for the whole Central Europe, including Ukraine. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, just like Ukraine, remain part of the energy grid connected with Russia.
“One cannot develop the industry, create new jobs and build the economy if the country faces a lasting risk factor such as the hybrid war policy pursued by Russia”, observed Aleksander Dąbrowski, Chairman of the Energy Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament. “Do not isolate Ukraine from the European energy market!!!”, is the appeal and message expressed by the delegation of Ukraine to the European Parliament at the meeting on the occasion of Ukrainian Energy Day in Brussels.
On Tuesday, July 10, 2018, a report on the status of the reform of Ukraine’s Energy Sector was presented in the European Parliament. Aleksander Dąbrowski, Chairman of the Energy Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament, presented the status of the implementation of the European Union Law in the legal and regulatory system of Ukraine. Igor Nasalik, Energy Minister of Ukraine, outlined the strategic directions of the reforms of the energy sector.
“Ukraine’s energy sector has the highest energy capacity in Central Europe, with 55.4 thousand MW of installed capacity. It is in Ukraine where Europe’s biggest power plant is located. Nearly 56 per cent of Ukraine’s electric power is generated by nuclear plants. Ukraine also has a gas storage capacity of 31 billion cubic meters. Ukraine is calling for the initiation of work on a common project of the establishment of an energy hub in Central Europe,” insisted the Ukraine’s Energy Minister in his speech. Aleksander Dąbrowski continued: “Ukraine’s energy sector plays a pivotal role for the energy security of Central Europe and in collaboration with Poland and the Baltic states we can build an energy hub which will oppose the dictation of the Russian energy monopoly”.
Therefore, Ukraine has been conducting a full alignment programme for 3 years now. What is to be the first stage in the process is the Ukraine – European Union Energy Bridge. “The essence of the project is that there is a 750 kV energy link between Poland and Ukraine. A cross-border power line which has been inactive for 24 years. The operation of the line was stopped when Poland had aligned its system with the European Union and Ukraine remained within the Russian grid. The 750 kV line (Chmielnicka – Rzeszów) is an energy asset of a strategic value and importance for the energy security of the region of Central Europe. Today, the 750 kV is a symbol of isolation of Ukraine from access to the European Union energy market. Let us change this and turn this power line into a symbol of energy cooperation, which Ukraine has been appealing for for several years”, emphasised Aleksander Dąbrowski. Minister Igor Nasalik said that a tender will be announced this summer for the construction of the Ukraine – European Union Energy Bridge on the basis of a public–private partnership. “We invite investors to take part in the project – Ukraine’s energy sector is an attractive area for investing”, he underlined.
“Ukraine is the first country to have experienced a hybrid war, also in the energy sector. This experience is a painful lesson for all the members of the European Community. An experience which we should learn lessons from and set directions for the European energy policy. Nord Stream 2 cannot lead to the isolation of Ukraine and Poland. This project contradicts the idea of solidarity in energy, which is the foundation of the European energy security policy”, summed up Michał Boni, MEP for Poland.
The meeting in the European Parliament was attended by MEPs and energy sector representatives, experts as well as representatives of the European Commission and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity.
Appeal for energy solidarity and abandonment of energy isolation barriers in Europe.
Ukraine, as a member state of the European Energy Community, appeals for energy solidarity. Activities in the energy system that are presently undertaken in many countries of Europe must be considered in a long-term horizon. The effects of cross-border connections or country isolation carry a geopolitical dimension that sets new boundaries of geopolitical divisions in Europe. The project of Nord Stream 2 will lead to the isolation of Central Europe; it is against the European foundation for energy solidarity. This concept strengthens the monopolistic policy of Russia, used in the international policy to destabilise the neighbouring countries. The long-term effects of this project include isolation and weakening of the energy and economic potential of Central Europe. It is time to draw conclusions from the experience of recent years. The European Energy Community has to assess whether it makes sense to create economic and political risks that will bring negative economic consequences from such projects and facts as: Nord Stream 2, the nuclear power plant in Belarus at the border with Lithuania, mass import of coal and gas from Russia or power isolation of Ukraine. There is a need for coherence and one voice of Europe in economic policy and energy security. In the times of hybrid war Russia imposes a tool from the arsenal of energy dependence, the consequences of which will affect the whole of Europe. Russia’s aggression towards Georgia in 2008 and towards Ukraine is a fact to which the world leaders reacted with sanctions. Does Europe need new proofs of the true face of the energy policy of Russia? Such a reflection should underlie the assessment of the legitimacy of Nord Stream 2.
On 28th June 2018 in Brussels the Chairman of the Commission and the Leaders of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed an agreement on the synchronisation of the Baltic States with the energy system of the European Union (Political Roadmap on the synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity networks with the Continental European Network via Poland). According to the European Commission, the agreement ends energy isolation and increases solidarity and energy security. The European Union is going to support the Baltic States in their talks with Russia in the process of desynchronisation with the Russian system. We would like to remind you that in Central Europe there is also Ukraine, which is affected by the same problem. Ukraine is a member state of the European Energy Community as well. The European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement provides Ukraine with an access to the energy market. Meanwhile, the power system of Ukraine, like of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, is a part of a system linked to Russia. It is a relic of the military Warsaw Pact. It is also a tool for influencing and creating the economic risk by Russia. The process of breaking with the power isolation of the countries of Central Europe should be considered holistically for the Central Europe Region, Ukraine included. The Ukrainian power system is in fact the largest system in Central Europe and constitutes a strategic source of power security for the region. Poland had a chance to learn it in 2015, when Ukraine as the only country provided it with electricity in emergency mode, saving this way a neighbouring country from lack of power. Despite the war with Russia in Crimea and the East of Ukraine, we supported Poland, because that was our understanding of the idea of energy solidarity in Europe. Today Poland imports coal from Russia, in 2017 it was approximately 8.5 million tonnes. From Russia, an aggressor country changing the borders in Europe by means of military violence. That is why the processes of energy synchronisation cannot be considered separately from the overall energy balance. Coal imports from Russia to Poland could be replaced by import of electricity from Ukraine. The more so, because between Poland and Ukraine there is a 750 kV line. The cross-border line which has not worked for 24 years. Its exploitation was stopped when Poland synchronised its own system with the European Union, and Ukraine remained in the system of Russia. The 750 kV line (Chmielnicka–Rzeszów) is an energy asset of a strategic value and meaning in terms of energy security of the Central Europe region. Today the 750 kV power line is a symbol of Ukraine’s isolation from access to the energy market of the European Union. Let us change this and make the line a symbol of energy cooperation, which Ukraine has been calling for for several years now. Ukraine has made an effort to fully synchronise its energy system with the ones of the European Union countries. The first stage is a project of Ukraine–EU Energy Bridge, which assumes unblocking of the 750 kV line connecting Ukraine through Poland with the European market. This is a fundamental project when it comes to the future of the Ukrainian energy sector and economy as a whole. Nowadays we need bridges with the European Union; energy, economic and political bridges. We do not expect help, but we would like to offer this help to Central Europe in terms of energy security. At the time of desynchronisation of the Baltic States with the Russian system, there will be a need for energy stability guarantee. Our power system can provide the stability of this kind by energy export within the Ukraine–EU Energy Bridge project. Therefore, we appeal for the process of the Baltic States’ synchronisation to be analysed comprehensively for the Central Europe region, including Ukraine. Ukraine wants to become a participant of the European energy market and we wish to jointly create a strategy for the development of the cross-border energy infrastructure. The role of an integrator of such initiatives should be played by the European Commission.
The planned Nord Stream 2 project will ultimately isolate Ukraine from the European gas market and it increases the geopolitical risk. We urge not to allow Ukraine to be isolated from the European energy market. Ukraine is not able to develop its economy and industry and attract foreign investors when it is constantly threatened with the risk of energy domination of Russia and has no connections to the European Union. We call for dismantling of barriers of energy isolation of Ukraine!
We urge that in the face of energy integration processes in Europe, under the chairmanship of the European Commission, works on establishing an Energy Hub of Central Europe should be initiated. There is no better strategy fighting the Russian energy monopoly than energy cooperation and creating an energy market. Central Europe is an attractive potential for the gas and electricity market. Therefore, the process of synchronisation of the Baltic States and Ukraine with the energy system of the European Union should be used for the holistic approach purposes. We need to create market institutions as the Energy Hub. We must use the market with a consumption potential as well as the existing assets of cross-border connections, gas storage facilities, LNG ports in Lithuania and Poland. We appeal for an immediate undertaking by the European Commission of the initiative of Central Europe Energy Hub. Let us bring the real causes of energy isolation to an end, let us construct the institutional foundations for energy cooperation. Ukraine wants to be a partner introducing the new quality and potential to the European Energy Community, let the idea of Energy Solidarity be the basis for politicians and business, hope for the development of new industries and geopolitical stabilisation.