UKRAINE – On 24 August, Ukraine celebrates its independence day. But as last week’s talks between Russian president Vladimir Putin and German chancellor Angela Merkel on gas transits via Ukraine showed, the country is far from being energy independent.
Ukraine’s economy is one of the most energy intensive in Europe. Gas imports from the EU serve only as a short-term solution, as the EU depends on insecure and expensive Russian gas supplies.
The Ukrainian government plans to increase local gas production, which would pollute climate with high methane emissions and require about $4 billion of capital expenditure. Ukraine still relies heavily on nuclear energy, which generates more than the half of its power.
Most nuclear reactors are out-dated and a major safety hazard. Ukraine still struggles to cover the costs of the Chernobyl catastrophe consequences.
On Ukrainian independence day, Eurovision winner-turned-politician Ruslana Lyzhychko calls for a rapid shift away from Russian gas and aging nuclear plants