Ukraine’s energy transition race

(EurActiv, 1 Apr 2022) A major overhaul to eliminate energy dependence on imports of coal, gas, oil, and nuclear fuel is essential for Ukraine to assert its sovereignty and gain energy independence, argues Iryna Stavchuk and Oleh Savytskyi.

Iryna Stavchuk is Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine for European Integration. Oleh Savytskyi is a climate and energy policy expert at the Ukrainian Climate Network.

In the month since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, EU countries have paid the Putin regime more than €22 billion for fossil fuels. Western powers have imposed sanctions on Russia’s Central Bank and frozen its reserves, and Putin is now demanding that gas be paid for in roubles.

The Kremlin is openly trying to put Gazprom in the place of the Central Bank while blackmailing the EU and showing how much the regime of Vladimir Putin relies on exporting fossil fuels for its survival.

Without billions in financial flows from hydrocarbon exports, Russia would not be able to wage hybrid wars against neighbouring countries, finance propaganda and a brutal repressive machine within the country. It also would not be able to build offensive weapons and blackmail the world with nuclear weapons.

The invasion of Ukraine should be the beginning of the end for the Russian oil and gas industry, and the EU should make every effort to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to green energy.

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EurActiv, 1 Apr 2022: Ukraine’s energy transition race