10.06.24 / / Press Release

Ukrainian NGO Calls Out Governments at Ukraine Recovery Conference for Ignoring Energy Crisis

Berlin, Germany
June 10, 2024

Today, Ukrainian climate organisation Razom We Stand, expressed deep concern over the Ukraine Recovery Conference's failure to address the urgent energy crisis in Ukraine. As Russian oil revenues rise and Ukraine's energy grid teeters on the brink of collapse, the lack of focus on energy issues is alarming.

The Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin presents an extraordinary opportunity for Ukraine and its EU partners to tackle the immediate energy crisis and impending humanitarian catastrophe. By supporting a Ukrainian pivot towards a cleaner, decentralized, and more resilient energy future, significant strides can be made. Unfortunately, energy topics are scarcely mentioned on the agenda despite the Kremlin destroying or capturing more than half of Ukraine’s power generation capacity. This has resulted in nationwide rolling blackouts, increasing fears about the future energy supply, and a potentially freezing cold winter for millions of Ukrainians if Europe doesn't act swiftly.

Germany, where the Ukraine Recovery Conference is held this year, must not be complacent regarding energy sanctions against Russia. Despite reducing its reliance on Russian fossil fuels, a significant portion of the Kremlin’s earnings still come from Europe and Germany. Between May 2023 and May 2024, Germany imported an estimated €182.4 million of oil products made from Russian crude oil. To truly impact Putin’s war chest, Germany must support a full ban on Russian LNG. Russian LNG continues to reach Germany from Belgium, with imports via the port of Zeebrugge increasing by 41% to 4 billion cubic meters in 2023 compared to 2022. 

"The silence on energy issues at this conference is deafening and dangerous. We cannot ignore the fact that Ukraine's energy grid is being systematically dismantled while Europe continues to fund Putin's war machine through fossil fuel purchases. It is a moral and strategic imperative for European leaders to stop financing the enemy and instead invest in a resilient and sustainable energy future for Ukraine. This is not just about Ukraine's survival; it's about the integrity and security of Europe as a whole," said Svitlana Romanko, Founder and Director of Razom We Stand. 

To aid Ukraine and enhance its energy security, the EU and countries like Germany should:

  • Invest in Grid Protection: Fund and support Ukraine’s three-tier protection system for electric substations to mitigate damage from missile and drone attacks.
  • Enhance Energy Storage: Facilitate regulatory changes and provide preferential loans to boost investment in battery storage and flexible power generation.
  • Expand Grid Connections: Upgrade and fast-track new interconnection projects with Ukraine to ensure stability and prevent energy shortages.
  • Promote Cross-Border Ventures: Encourage joint ventures to enhance regional energy security and accelerate the energy transition, focusing on innovative solutions like modular plants and advanced grid technologies.
  • Enforce Sanctions: Maintain and strengthen sanctions against Russian energy companies to support Ukraine's sovereignty.

The devastation caused by Russia's invasion paradoxically offered Ukraine a silver lining — the chance to rebuild its energy infrastructure in a cleaner, smarter, localized, and more resilient way. Prioritizing sustainability and long-term resilience in Ukraine’s power system redesign offers major opportunities.

The continued purchase of Russian fossil fuels in Europe remains a critical issue. Since the war began, Russia has earned EUR 679 billion from fossil fuel exports, with European Union countries purchasing over EUR 195 billion. Despite existing sanctions, Russia continues to finance its military operations through fossil fuel sales, including Liquified Natural Gas. Shockingly, since the start of the full-scale invasion, deliveries of Russian LNG to the EU increased by 32%, contributing massive additional funding to Putin's war chest. 

On June 7, 2024, Razom We Stand, in partnership with E3G, the European Initiative for Energy Security, and the European Ukrainian Energy Agency, hosted a highly successful EU-Ukraine Energy Workshop ahead of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin. The event gathered key stakeholders to discuss the critical energy challenges and opportunities facing Ukraine amidst ongoing conflict and destruction.

The path forward is to innovate. Investing in clean energy instead of repairing outdated and polluting coal-fired plants will help make Ukraine the world's first post-war country rebuilt on renewable energy, setting a global precedent for infrastructure-centred climate actions while ensuring energy security.

ENDS

Razom We Stand is a Ukrainian organisation active internationally, calling for a total and permanent embargo on Russian fossil fuels and an immediate end to all investment into Russian oil and gas companies by phasing out fossil fuels globally.

Svitlana Romanko has appeared in top international press, including Der Spiegel, Tagesspiegel, DW, Le Monde, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Hill, Bloomberg, Washington Post, CNN, NBC and Politico.

Press contact: 
Paraic Walker
International Communications Specialist Razom We Stand
[email protected]