Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine for European Integration Yaroslav Demchenkov took part in the Central European Energy Conference 2022 (CEEC XVI) titled Rethinking Energy Security in Times of Climate Change and War in Eastern Europe. The event was also attended by the Minister of Economy of Slovakia Karel Hirman, representatives of governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations of the energy sector of the EU countries.
Yaroslav Demchenkov stressed that russia's war against Ukraine became for Europe the moment of truth to rethink energy security and to understand that russia used and continues to use fossil fuels as a weapon.
"Now Europe is united in the face of danger. The EU has done what seemed impossible in February - dramatically reduced its dependence on russian fossil fuels. European gas storage facilities are full and Ukraine is offering an additional 15 billion cubic meters of capacity to European gas reserves. This means that russian energy blackmail will fail", emphasized Yaroslav Demchenkov.
He also stressed that almost from the very beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, russia has resorted to nuclear terrorism.
"It would be naive to believe that a state that easily shells and seizes nuclear power plants can have peaceful nuclear technologies. Zaporizhzhya NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, has been occupied for more than 8 months. It has been turned into a military camp, its infrastructure is often shelled. russia regularly puts Europe on the brink of a nuclear disaster of the scale of the Fukushima accident. Therefore, today we need to think not only about the abandonment of russian gas and oil, but also about the denuclearization of russia, the prohibition of russian nuclear technologies, business in this area and access of russian scientists to nuclear research," said the Deputy Minister.
Yaroslav Demchenkov stressed that russia is waging war not only against Ukraine, but also against Europe, its values and principles. "This is a war against the European ideas of a better sustainable future, where energy is not used as a weapon and does not harm the environment. russia threatens our very civilization," stressed the Deputy Minister.
He called for strengthening sanctions against russia, in particular, accelerating the process of complete refusal from russian oil and gas, as well as imposing sanctions on the nuclear industry of the aggressor country.
Yaroslav Demchenkov also appealed to international partners to increase support for the energy sector of Ukraine with the necessary equipment for repairs, because russia is not attacking the local Ukrainian network - it is attacking part of the European energy system.
"We should not be afraid of an energy crisis in the long term. Ukraine with its nuclear capacities, renewable potential, including hydrogen and biogas, can replace russia as a continental energy supplier. Energy will be a source of development, not fuel for wars," the Deputy Minister stressed.