KYIV, Nov 1 (Reuters) – The European Union is exploring ways to increase aid to Ukraine’s energy sector after a “brutal and brutal” Russian attack that has caused widespread energy disruptions, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said on Tuesday.
Visiting Kyiv to show solidarity with Ukraine after Russia launched missiles at Ukraine’s power plants in recent weeks, Simson said foreign companies should be urged to prioritize energy supplies to Ukraine.
The Russian attack left many Ukrainians without electricity or water on Monday, and a rolling blackout was put in place to save energy while engineers carried out repairs.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told Simson that Russia’s “energy terrorism” has severely damaged about 40% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
“Russia’s bombing of infrastructure (in Ukraine) is clearly a ploy to increase human suffering,” Simson told a news conference in the Ukrainian capital alongside Ukrainian Energy Minister Galushchenko.
He said Ukraine needed some equipment and tools to repair the damage to its energy infrastructure, and told Zelenskiy the EU “has reached out to partners to help with the necessary support.”
Russia’s attack was “brutal and inhumane, but not surprising,” Simson said, adding on Twitter that he was “making every effort to extend financial, technical and operational assistance.”
Additional help will need to come from EU institutions, member states, international partners and private donors, he said.
Simson pointed out that the EU’s ability to quickly supply all parts of Ukraine could be limited, but said the 27-member bloc would do its best to provide weapons.
“The need for spare parts is so great that there is no storage space to bring them in,” he said.
He also said the situation at Russia’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine was “dangerously irresponsible.” Kyiv and Moscow accuse each other of shooting around the plant.
Zelenskiy said on the Telegram messaging app that he and Simson had a “meaningful meeting”.
“We discussed further measures to ensure energy security in Ukraine, and the issue of strengthening sanctions against the Russian Federation,” he said without giving details.
Additional reporting by Sabine Siebold and Kate Abnett in Brussels, Editing by Angus MacSwan and Timothy Heritage
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