The energy blockade being triggered amid heating season is considered a dishonest and irresponsible act towards all Ukrainian citizens, announced Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman in his opening address at the Government session on Tuesday.
"If true patriots of Ukraine wish well to Ukraine, they must understand what is necessary to do today and what should be done in perspective. But to start an energy blockade in the middle of the heating season does look quite unfair not to me, but to the Ukrainian citizens", stressed Volodymyr Groysman.
The Government is open to a professional and quality dialogue, stressed the Prime Minister.
In 2016, the new Cabinet carried out significant work to ensure the preparation for the ongoing heating season. In summer the Prime Minister formed the Energy staff responsible for gearing up for winter, “in particular given the fact that we are significantly dependent on coal mined in Ukraine that occurred in the temporarily occupied territories currently”, he said.
"From the first day I urged that since summer we must accumulate strategic reserves of anthracite coal that we need to secure a stable passage of the heating season, to provide the Ukrainians with heating, electricity. Every day I was saying that today, or tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow the Russians will block railway traffic to exert pressure on Ukraine, including energy security tools", said Volodymyr Groysman.
"Every day I was saying about the fact that we will receive aggression from Russia, we will have these rails blocked, but I’d never imagined that this shutoff and this energy blockade would be created by certain Ukrainian citizens", said the Prime Minister.
He noted that Ukraine's dependence on the Russian Federation, the Russian gas and coal and in many other sectors had been extremely heavy. Until 2014, this dependence had been growing.
Apart from that, to increase the country’s energy dependence certain Ukrainian politicians - those who today support independence of the country - made efforts, noted the Head of the Government, notably concluding "enslaving gas deals, doing many other things that did not allow Ukraine to get away from the Russian aggressor, including energy issues".
2014 saw a number of measures carried out to make the country self-sufficient in energy, said Volodymyr Groysman. Hence, he commended the efforts of the Government of then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Moreover, under support of international partners, namely the United States of America, in 2014, there was established the staff dealing with energy security issues and designed to change the situation in the country, noted Volodymyr Groysman. In 2014-2015, this strategy was being implemented.
By now, for over 450 days Ukraine has not consumed a single drop of Russian gas. Gas is imported from our Western partners, emphasized the Prime Minister.