Ukraine must reject Russian gas — expert

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2014/08/08 • News

by Myroslav Shcherbyna

Physicist Bohdan Sokolovskyi,  energy security adviser to former president Yushchenko, believes it is very important that no Ukrainian hryvnias to be used to support continued Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Ukraine must introduce tough sanctions against Russia. This is within its political will. The main thing is not to allow any Ukrainian hryvnias to be used to support Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine, Bohdan Sokolovskyi commented to UNN, August 8.

“Today Ukraine will announce the introduction of economic sanctions against Russia. The energy sector should be included as well. Ukraine has not been consuming Russian gas since June. But this issue will remain relevant for as long as the annexation of Crimea continues,” Sokolovskyi said.

According to Sokolovskyi, the first winter will be most difficult. “It is August already, and the issue of reverse gas flows has stalled. We should have taken care of agreements on the reverse gas flow  delivery immediately after the annexation of Crimea. Now we can expect volumes of 5 to 9  billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas till the end of the year. That is not sufficient. In subsequent years, we can go up to 15-16 bcm of reverse gas which will be enough,” he explained.

Sokolovskyi pointed out that Ukraine consumes about 50 bcm of gas at a time when neighboring Poland, similar in size and population, even if somewhat smaller, consumes only 14-16 bcm. “Can you appreciate the difference in consumption between Poland and Ukraine? This is where reserves are hidden. We absolutely  have to use gas very rationally, using all possible alternative technologies. Some 23-24 bcm of gas out the 50 bcm (is used by industry). This is exactly where we should look for opportunities to save,” he said.

“Industry in the the USSR was designed to meet the needs of the entire union as well as the military appetites of the Kremlin. These industrial giants have been taken over by the oligarchs. The Ukrainian economy, as misaligned as it was, has remained the same. This is the main problem. The economy must be reformed,” he said.

Sokolovskyi believes that the Ukrainian government shares the blame, since for more than 20 years it has not taken care of structural changes. “Why do the residents of eastern Ukraine fear that things will be bad with EU integration? They worry that the factories of the local oligarchs will turn out to be uncompetitive and that people will be thrown out on the street. We need to recognize that Ukraine has not paid attention to the East, and that new production in the field of IT technology, road construction and so on has not yet arrived here,” he said.

“I support the rejection of Russian gas. As long as there is war, as long as the annexation of Crimea continues, this would be logical. How can we possibly pay huge sums to the aggressor who will then use them against us? They will arm the occupying troops in Crimea and the militants in the Donbas. Yes, Russian gas is the closest and most convenient for Ukraine. However, renewed cooperation will be possible only after the end of the annexation and the cessation of war provocations in eastern Ukraine,” he concluded.

As previously reported, on Friday, August 8, the government of Ukraine will announce its own package of sanctions against Russia. Justice Minister of Ukraine, Pavlo Petrenko, has announced that these sanctions are designed to deter the neighboring state from continuing its military aggression in the Donbas.

According to Ukrainian experts in the energy sector, by buying almost 30 bcm of Russian gas a year in the past, Ukraine contributed US $12bn annually to the finances of the neighboring state. This cash flow has now stopped.

Translated by Anna Mostovych

Source: UNN

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  • Rods

    Much can be done to save gas by modernization of industry and the improved insulation of industrial buildings, offices and houses. However, apart from households improving their insulation before this winter, if they can afford it, the other types of buildings are medium to long term projects.

    Having seen how poorly insulated my Ukrainian mother-in-laws house was and in many areas still is compared to houses in the UK (where we have much warmer winters), there is much scope here for relatively inexpensive improvements. One of the easiest and most important for houses is roof insulation. In many village houses the roof’s straw storage is used for this, but there are areas of the roof that are not covered by the straw bales, What would be much better would be a constant layer of 2-300mm of ideally fibre-glass insulation or alternatively a layer of straw. If straw is used, make sure it is kept clear of chimneys. This will dramatically reduce the 25% of heat that is lost through the roof. Heat loss and draughts through single glazed windows can be reduced with sheets of polythene pinned to the inside window frames and thick curtains drawn at night and an inner thermal curtain across doorways will reduce draughts and heat loss. These simple measures across many households will help reduce gas consumption.

    With a looming energy shortage this winter, this suggests that an energy action plan and priorities list along with alternative fuels for this winter needs to drawn up urgently, to get all of the population through the cold winter.

    • Frederick C. Lee

      This underscores the importance of worldwide energy efficiencies and hence reduce our carbon footprint which in turn, help reduce global climate change.

      It’s a win-win for all, if Ukraine modernizes.

  • Jacks Channel

    Modern wood burning stoves and electric heaters will help.