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MP comments on Ukraine's indecisiveness about Belarusian electricity import


MINSK, 1 November (BelTA) – Ukraine follows a spiral of self-destruction due to faults of its political establishment. Chairman of the International Affairs Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Andrei Savinykh made the relevant statement in a recent broadcast hosted by the YouTube channel of Igor Tur, a political analyst of the Belarusian TV channel ONT, BelTA has learned.

The ambiguous situation with Ukraine's possible import of electricity from Belarus was discussed during the stream. Minsk hears contradictory information from Kyiv in this regard all the time.

Andrei Savinykh said: “Belarus' stance is absolutely logical and compassionate. It primarily concerns ordinary people. Communication between citizens, individuals is one thing while relations at the interstate level are another. Our stance relies on common sense. But we cannot enforce it. If the Ukrainian government tries to block [electricity import] and works against the wellbeing of its own citizens, unfortunately, it is the reality for now. And we have to agree with it because our foreign policy relies on non-interference in affairs of sovereign countries. Once we are really asked to help, we will certainly help. Because Ukraine is a brotherly country.”

In his words, for now Ukraine follows a spiral of self-destruction primarily due to faults of its political establishment. “I hope this process will be stopped in the end somewhere,” the MP said.

Andrei Savinykh also stated that at some point in the past, before the maidan revolution in Ukraine the agenda and priorities offered to the Ukrainian society were imperceptibly changed. “It resulted in what we can see now. It is a degradation of all the government bodies, the economy. A very grave one. And I cannot talk lightly about it because it is truly a disaster,” the MP stated.

Ukraine was expected to resume electricity import from Belarus on 1 November after TASS reported that at auction held on 27 October the Ukrainian state-owned company Energoatom bought 885MW out of the 900MW of the throughput capacity of Belarusian-Ukrainian transboundary power lines in order to import electricity from Belarus in November. The Ukrainian company Electro Community bought another 15MW.

Before that the Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Ministry stated that Ukraine would not resume electricity import from either Russia or Belarus in November because sufficient coal reserves were available for the winter and energy producers had financial resources to buy more coal, including abroad. However, the ministry stated later on that coal reserves at two out of the three thermal power plants of the state-run power supply company Centrenergo were sufficient only for five to six days.

On 30 October TASS quoted Andrei Gerus, Chairman of the Energy and Housing and Utilities Committee of the Ukrainian parliament, as saying that Ukraine did not intend to resume electricity import from Russia and Belarus on 1 November. “Electricity will not be imported from the Russian Federation as from 1 November. Inter RAO Company announced an auction to sell electricity on 20 October but the auction was cancelled on 21 October. No electricity will be imported from Belarus as from 1 November either. The relevant electricity acquisition auctions have not been held,” the MP wrote in his Telegram channel.

Andrei Gerus also quoted Ukrainian Energy Ministry data, which indicated that seven Ukrainian thermal power plants lacked the guaranteed coal reserves, which the power plants are supposed to have according to their licenses' requirements. “The warehouses of the thermal power plants and cogeneration plants had only 675,000 tonnes of coal as of yesterday,” he specified.

The Russian energy company Inter RAO said on 28 October that no negotiations on resuming the export of electricity were in progress with the Ukrainian side.

The head of the independent trade union of Ukrainian miners Mikhail Volynets was previously quoted as saying that due to the coal and natural gas shortages Ukraine would face serious problems during winter – rolling blackouts and an increase in prices for housing and utility services for households and corporations.

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko also made a few comments about these matters while talking to medics in the city of Lida last week. The head of state was asked about the possible export of electricity to Lithuania and Ukraine. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus is always ready to help out neighbors. Acting differently would be mean otherwise regardless of the countries' policy towards Belarus, he said. “We feel sorry for the people. They are our neighbors after all. We lived in one country yesterday,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.