(Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the launch of energy transfer to Romania was the beginning of a process that could help Europe reduce its dependence on Russian hydrocarbons.
Zelensky’s comments in his Thursday evening video message came after Prime Minister Denis Shmyal announced that exports had begun earlier in the day – at a volume of 100 megawatts – four months after Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The president said the start of exports was “another important step in our move towards the European Union”.
“Thanks to Ukrainian electricity, a large part of the Russian gas used by European consumers can be replaced. Thus, this is not just a matter of export earnings for us, but a matter of security for the whole of Europe,” Zelensky said.
“Let me remind you that connecting our country to the EU’s common energy system has already taken place after the start of the war. Ukraine is now doing things that once seemed impossible.”
Ukraine reached an agreement in mid-March to join the European Network of Transport System Operators (ENTSO-E) as an observer after connecting its network to that of the European Union.
ENTSO-E said this week that preparations for the first export from Ukraine have been completed, along with energy from ex-Soviet Moldova, starting on June 30 – using a tie-in with Romania.
She said electricity trade on other links between Ukraine and Slovakia, Ukraine and Hungary – as well as between Moldova and Romania will soon follow. The group said that the total commercial capacity will initially be identified as 100 megawatts in the first phase.
In his previous announcement, Prime Minister Shmyhal said that the potential for exporting Ukrainian electricity towards Europe could reach 2.5 gigawatts.
(Reporting by Ronald Popesky; Editing by Stephen Coates)
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