President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the government should speed up the transportation of fuel from European ports to Ukrainian consumers.
“The key task for government members is to speed up the transportation of fuel from European ports to our consumers. The volume of such transportation should increase daily,” Zelensky said in a traditional video message on Saturday.
He said that at present, everything is being done to ensure that the state fulfills all social obligations, despite the budget deficit due to the destruction of the Ukrainian economy by the Russian army.
At a meeting with members of the government on Saturday, Zelensky recalled that the issue of fuel shortage was raised last week. “At the beginning of last week, we agreed that we would resolve the issue this week. The week is ending,” Zelensky said.
In turn, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko called the main problem – the logistics of receiving fuel for Ukraine in Eastern European ports.
“If you look at imports, over the past five days we have been importing exactly the same amount, even a little more, than we consume. Europe was simply not ready: not even in terms of resources, but in terms of logistics. We have a bottleneck – these are ports, European ports,” she said.
“We have Gdansk, Gdynia, Swinoujscie, Constanta, Burgas – there is a traffic jam. We asked [Foreign Minister] Dmytro Kuleba to get involved already at the international level – to ask for a green corridor for Ukraine in these ports,” Svyrydenko added.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says the European Commission has proposed suspending all import duties on all Ukrainian exports to the European Union for a year.
“Today, the European Commission proposed to suspend for a year all import duties on all Ukrainian exports to the European Union. This is an unprecedented gesture of support for our country. The EU has never taken such massive trade liberalization measures in any country before. This opens up additional opportunities for our business, and our products become more competitive in the European market. We negotiated the abolition of duties with our European colleagues, and we are grateful that they heard us and supported Ukraine,” Shmyhal wrote on the Telegram channel.
Shmygal also said that the government has agreements and is negotiating with Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Germany and other countries to allow Ukrainian exports through the ports of these countries.
“We are working further so that, in addition to the EU countries and the UK, our other allies will also take the decision to abolish duties on Ukrainian products,” he wrote.
The operator of the GTS of Ukraine (OGTSU) reports on gross interference by representatives of Russia and illegal armed groups controlled by them, the so-called. “LNR” in the operational work and technological processes of gas transportation through the compressor station (CS) “Novopskov” in the Luhansk region.
“The Novopskov CS is an important facility for organizing gas transportation to consumers in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Almost a third of the transit to Europe from the Sokhranivka gas measuring station (GIS) also passes through this station,” the OGTSU said on Friday.
According to it, a number of actions by the occupiers were recorded, providing for changes in the operation of communication equipment and technological modes, which in fact could lead to the loss of operational control over the CS equipment.
“This will lead to significant risks to the integrity of the gas transmission system, the stability of gas transportation regimes, and as a result, the impossibility of transporting gas through the CS, in particular, under a transit contract,” the GTS Operator of Ukraine explained.
The Ukrainian company called on the representatives of the aggressor to refrain from further pressure on its employees and interference in the work of the Constitutional Court.
“Otherwise, in case of loss of operational control, the OGTSU will be forced to stop the operation of this facility in order to maintain the integrity and safe operation of the GTS. Stopping the Novopskov CS means stopping transit through the Sokhranovka GIS. Responsibility for the consequences lies with the Russian Federation,” – emphasized in the message.
On April 6, OGTSU Director General Sergey Makogon said that since the beginning of the war unleashed by Russia, three main gas pipelines have been damaged, four compressor stations have been seized by the invaders, two gas distribution stations (GDS) have been destroyed, and another 48 GDS have been stopped.
The German truck and bus manufacturer MAN was forced to send about 11,000 employees on unpaid leave due to the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.
The Volkswagen Group-owned company said on Wednesday that its facilities in Munich and Krakow, Poland, have been halted since March 14 due to the cessation of supplies of electrical wires produced at Ukrainian factories. At three other MAN sites, production volumes have been reduced, including at the engine plant in Nuremberg.
“Suppliers of electrical wiring for trucks cannot produce it at Ukrainian enterprises or can produce it in very limited quantities,” MAN said in a statement. “As a result, we could lose production for several weeks, which will sharply reduce output figures in the second quarter.”
The company said it has already started looking for additional sources of truck wiring harnesses in other countries.
“However, this will take several months,” said Alexander Vlaskamp, chief executive officer of MAN.
The company notes that its employees will be transferred to a reduced working hours scheme, in which MAN compensates them for 80% of lost income from both its own and state funds.
The problems of Ukrainian suppliers previously led to disruptions in the work of Volkswagen and BMW enterprises.
Most of the Ukrainian enterprises for the production of electrical wiring, located in the western part of the country, have resumed work, the Financial Times newspaper writes, citing representatives of several enterprises.
Thus, the German Leoni, which owns two factories in the west of Ukraine, has already reported that both of its enterprises have returned to work.
Other companies, including Aptiv and Kromberg & Schubert, have resumed production, FT sources say.
Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) has started accepting the first cargoes with technology and humanitarian aid from European colleagues, the company’s press service reported on Saturday.
According to the press service, the Belgian operator Fluxys provided equipment for centering during pipe welding, the Bulgarian Bulgartransgaz EAD – six tonnes of welding electrodes now in short supply in Ukraine for the repair of main pipelines, the German ONTRAS – humanitarian goods (mats, sleeping bags, etc.).
In addition, a scheme has been agreed with the German operator OGE (Open Grid Europe) for the emergency delivery of special equipment and repair kits for fireless tapping and connection of bypasses in case of damage.
Also, cargoes from six more GTS operators are already being formed for shipment.
In general, since the beginning of the Russian military aggression, GTSOU has received proposals for technical assistance from 15 GTS operators from 13 countries (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Italy, France, the UK).
“We are thankful to our international colleagues for the support, as well as the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine, USAID for assistance in obtaining critical materials. Thanks to all of you, GTSOU continues to supply gas to Ukrainian consumers,” the company said.
The length of the main gas pipelines managed by GTSOU is 33,079 km, the number of compressor stations is 57, and the number of gas distribution stations is 1,395.
Capacity utilization of Ukraine’s transit corridor on Friday remains at the same high level, in line with the long-term contract volumes of 40 billion cubic meters per year or 109 million cubic meters per day.
European buyers have increased nominations for Gazprom’s gas after prices soared due to the imposition of sanctions on Russia. Gas prices at the TTF hub were $1,383 per thousand cubic meters on Friday morning.
“Gazprom is supplying Russian gas for transit via Ukraine as scheduled in accordance with the requests of European consumers – 109.5 mcm on March 11,” the company’s official spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters.
As confirmed by data from the Ukrainian GTS Operator, the nomination for March 11 is 109.4 mcm, while that for March 10 was also 109.4 mcm.