The issue of energy cooperation with Germany becomes increasingly important, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, co-chair of the Ukrainian-German high-level group for economic cooperation Olha Stefanishyna has declared.
According to her, the energy partnership was concluded between the countries last autumn, but Germany had been Ukraine’s strategic energy partner for many years. In particular, this partnership was strengthened after Ukraine declared its alignment with the European Green Deal, Stefanishyna noted. In addition to its ambitious environmental obligations, Ukraine also commits itself to the great path of “green transformation”, which includes, inter alia, the transformation of coal regions. Germany has become Ukraine’s largest ally, which can be seen as a long-term investment in Ukraine’s development.
“This year, Ukraine and Germany are expected to agree on a program of a “fair transition” and start implementing it through four pilot projects next year,” the Vice PM said.
According to her, the German government has provided significant funding. Stefanishyna did not mention specific sum, noting it totalled “millions of euros”. At the same time, the official acknowledged that this was not enough to achieve such an ambitious goal because “the needs reach tens of billions of euros”. At the same time, even though funding is insufficient to achieve the goal, political support for this ambition remains very important to us, she added.
The Vice Prime Minister said that during the 4th German-Ukrainian Forum in Berlin, new projects were discussed, in particular, specific business cases on the relocation of some high-tech industries to Ukraine were considered. One of the priorities is hydrogen as Ukraine has committed itself to aligning its policies with the European Green Deal goals, she added.
“We are talking about hydrogen, cooperation in the field of battery economy, etc.,” Stefanishyna said.
According to her, German companies understand that achieving climate neutrality in Germany will increase the demand for electricity, and Ukraine is the source that can meet this demand.
Stefanishyna also underscored the high level of readiness of German companies to enter the Ukrainian market.
She also stressed that Germany was Ukraine’s main trading partner in the EU. At year-end 2020, Germany’s share among EU countries was 17.6%. As of October 2020, Germany invested $1.67 billion in Ukraine’s economy. (Ukrinform/Business World Magazine)