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Energy ministers from the European Union (EU) have decided to ‘urgently’ establish a link between Ukraine’s energy grid and the European power system following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Reuters reported that ministers have agreed to support the long-planned linking of the Ukrainian grid with that of Europe after a meeting held on 28 February.
Ukraine decoupled its power grid from the Russian electricity system last week and has placed a request for emergency synchronisation with the European system, which would mean Russia would no longer control technical aspects of Ukraine’s grid.
EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said: “One project that has been our joint priority for a long time is synchronising the Ukrainian power grid with the European Continental Grid – instead of Russia.
“This is a strategic initiative for increasing Ukraine’s energy independence.”
EU officials stated that a power link with Ukraine could be completed within weeks.
Simson said that even if Russia, which is Europe’s top gas supplier, were to take ‘retaliatory steps’ impacting Europe’s energy supplies due to sanctions from the West, Europe has enough gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage to last through the coming months.
The invasion has prompted several EU countries to take measures to address any disruption to energy supplies.
Germany has announced plans to expedite the construction of domestic renewable projects in an effort to reduce its dependency on Russian gas.
The country also plans to ensure that all its gas storage facilities are full by the start of December this year.
In addition, the European Commission has announced that it will propose a requirement for EU countries to fill their gas storages to minimum levels by late in the year.
In a separate development, the Russian Defence Ministry said that it now controls the Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
Despite this, Ukraine has refuted the claims and said that the plant is still under its control.