Ukraine offers EU its own storage facilities for energy reserves
Ukraine is offering natural gas storage facilities to store strategic energy reserves of the EU, Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said, while Germany also provided fuel to Ukraine.
Ukraine has the largest underground storage facilities in Europe, Halushchenko wrote in a post on Facebook.
"Despite Russia's full-scale military aggression, Ukraine remains a strong and reliable partner for Europe in terms of energy security," he said.
The minister welcomed EU efforts to wean the bloc off Russian gas supplies and buy jointly from other suppliers. Ukraine could contribute to this solidarity and balancing mechanism with its storage facilities, Halushchenko said.
At an EU summit on Thursday, member states agreed to the voluntary joint purchase of gas, liquid natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen in an effort to turn away from Russian imports while tackling spiraling energy costs.
To that end, the EU has clinched a deal with Washington to receive at least 15 billion cubic metres of LNG from the United States this year.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has praised Qatar and other Gulf states as "reliable and solid suppliers of energy sources."
They could contribute to stabilizing the situation in Europe, he said in a video address to an economic forum in the Qatari capital Doha.
Ukraine is urging its allies in the West to immediately boycott Russian energy imports as part of efforts to punish Moscow for its invasion and deprive it of funds to wage its war.
However, Russian gas continues to flow westwards through a Ukrainian network of pipelines. It is unclear whether Moscow has stopped payments for this transit. For Ukraine, gas transit was and is an important source of income.
Ukraine has received supplies from the EU for some time to meet its own gas needs.
Later on Saturday, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said Berlin had also sent fuel to Ukraine, as well as weapons.
She said that the large quantities of fuel had been purchased in Poland, in comments to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.
"Overall, we deliver, and we deliver consistently," Lambrecht said, countering claims that Germany had been slow in delivering weapons. However, she added that she could understand Ukraine's impatience.