EU asks third countries for help in Ukraine

Destruction in a substation of the transmission system operator Ukrenerho in central Ukraine

Russia ramps up attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure ahead of winter.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Istanbul The EU wants to convince third countries that Ukraine to help them rebuild their energy infrastructure. The Handelsblatt learned this from diplomatic circles in the Turkish capital Ankara. The Turkish Foreign Ministry had not commented on the process on Thursday.

Time is of the essence for the EU. On the one hand, Brussels wants to launch the ninth package of sanctions against Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February. On the other hand, widens Russia aimed its pre-winter attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

To minimize the impact of Russian retaliation, as many countries as possible should use their capacity to build electricity or water supply infrastructure to help Ukraine before the winter. It is not known whether Brussels will provide funds for this.

A Turkish company is already in talks to help. It is intended to supply Ukraine with components for the energy infrastructure, but also with electricity. Karpowership, one of the world’s largest operators of so-called power plant ships, could deliver up to 400 megawatts of electricity to Ukraine via Romania and Moldova.

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The company operates 36 so-called “power ships”. These are floating power plants. “We are in talks to provide about 300 or 400 megawatts of electricity with energy ships,” confirmed company director Zeynep Harezi to Turkish media.

>> Read here: Erdogan wants cheap natural gas from Russia – and asks Putin by 25 percent discount

Harezi said it was technically possible that up to four ships in different ports of Moldova and Romania could provide the capacity needed for Ukraine at competitive prices. The energy ships are powered by liquid gas or natural gas. The latter relates the Turkey half from Russia.

Power failure in Kyiv

The capital has also been affected by blackouts. Parts of the energy infrastructure have been destroyed.

(Photo: dpa)

Massive rocket and drone attacks in October and November cut off millions of Ukrainian civilians, at least temporarily, from access to electricity, water and heat ahead of the cold winter months. “The widespread and repeated attacks by Russian forces on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure appear primarily intended to incite terror among the population, in violation of the laws of war,” the human rights organization said Human Rights Watch.

At least 77 civilians were also killed and 272 injured in the attacks. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the attacks on November 23, 2022 alone killed or injured more than 30 civilians and left millions without electricity across Ukraine.

Authorities expect people to face massive power outages at least until the end of March. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the capacities are constantly being expanded. “But the energy system can no longer be returned to the pre-war condition in the short term.”

the European Union had announced a ninth set of sanctions against Russia this week, including restrictions on access to drones, chemicals and military technology. President Vladimir Putin then warned that the threat of nuclear war was increasing and reiterated that Russia would defend itself “by any means necessary”.

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