When making decisions on gas, Europe should continually ask itself: how will it affect Ukraine – Olga Bielkova

Ukraine is already integrated into all contexts of Europe’s gas geopolitics. We share with our partners all the difficulties in the gas market arising from the war unleashed by russia. But Ukraine also has additional possibilities and potential to intensify the efforts of European countries to diversify gas supply sources and ensure gas supply in the new environment. An even deeper infrastructural and regulatory integration into the European gas market is necessary to realize Ukraine’s potential.

It was stated by Olga Bielkova, Director of Government and International Affairs of GTSOU, during a speech at the meeting of the European Energy Forum (EEF) participants in the European Parliament. She took part in the event at the invitation of the EEF under the chairmanship of the Member of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek.

“Ukraine is a candidate for EU membership. It is a party to the Energy Community. Europe should remember Ukraine and take us into account when making decisions: how these decisions will affect Ukraine and how we can help EU countries. Already today! Our country has a broad range of opportunities in the energy sector if the cooperation and regulatory assistance are strengthened,” believes Ms. Bielkova.

As noted by GTSO’s Director, to intensify the use of the Ukrainian gas infrastructure and strengthen cooperation with the European market, our state should be allowed to participate in the joint purchasing of gas for the placement of off-season stocks into the Ukrainian storage facilities. Moreover, Ukraine’s potential as an exporter of renewable gases and natural gas should not be ignored given the sufficient investments in the production of the resource.

According to Olga Bielkova, considering the potential of Ukraine in the REPowerEU plan to make Europe independent from russian fossil fuels would help develop interregional gas transportation. In particular, the repurposing of the existing infrastructure is the key to solving the “bottlenecks” in the security of gas supply from the Mediterranean to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. In this context, the speaker highlighted the potential of the Trans-Balkan pipeline, which could supply gas from the Turkish and Greek LNG terminals and TANAP to Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and potentially to the Baumgarten area.

Apart from that, Ms. Bielkova outlined some measures required for the development of biomethane and hydrogen production in Ukraine, such as non-discriminatory rules for the acceptance of Ukrainian certificates of biomethane origin, the inclusion of biomethane into the EU Platform for the joint purchasing of gas, LNG, and hydrogen, etc.

“The EU can’t return to the way things were before once the war is over. It will be better for all of us if Ukraine is integrated as a solution rather than a problem,” said the representative of Gas TSO of Ukraine.