EP seminar discusses energy security with Ukraine
Europolitics - 11 September 2008
Ukraine's role in energy security was the centrepiece of a round table organised on 10 September in the European Parliament. Hosted by former EP committee (ITRE) chair Giles Chichester, the seminar underscored the important role for security of supply played by Ukraine, a country through which most of the EU's gas passes. Speaking at the event, former Ukraine Energy Minister Yuri Boyko, now president of the Confederation of Ukrainian Employers, as well as the current Deputy Energy Minister, Sergey Pavlusha, stressed the country's adherence to protocols laid down by the Energy Charter Treaty.
Ukraine, as a founding member of the Energy Charter Treaty finally ratified by Kiev in 1998, is also legally bound by protocols on transit, stressed Rolf Dickel from the Energy Charter Secretariat. "The provisions are not only theoretical, but can be forced by arbitration procedures," Dickel noted. He stressed the need to examine further areas of cooperation between Ukraine and EU such as storage of gas. "If you look at where storage could be placed, then the western part of Ukraine would be very suitable. This would open a large field of joint activities between the EU and Ukraine," said Dickel.
Aside from storage, for Charles Tannock (EPP-ED, UK), rapporteur on the European Neighbourhood Policy's eastern dimension, ensuring energy security also means that European leaders need to offer an EU perspective to Ukraine. "This status is even enjoyed by Albania," said Tannock. More conservatively, Marjeta Jager, director for security at DG TREN, talked of joint interest in energy cooperation. Even with new routes being proposed, Ukraine will remain the EU's most important transit countries.