MEP Kadri Simson awarded Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise by Zelenskyy

European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson receiving the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, 3rd Class, from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Tuesday. November 1, 2022.
European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson receiving the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, 3rd Class, from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Tuesday. November 1, 2022. Source: Kadri Simson/Twitter

During a visit to Kyiv this week, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson was personally awarded the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, 3rd Class, by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. She also co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the International Energy Advisory Council together with Ukrainian Minister of Energy German Galushchenko.

Instituted in 1995 by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise is awarded in recognition of distinguished services to the state and people of Ukraine.

"A meaningful meeting with European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson," Zelenskyy wrote on Facebook regarding their meeting on Tuesday.

"I told her about the consequences of Russia's energy terrorism and the measures we are taking to stabilize the work of the power grid," he wrote. "We discussed further steps to ensure Ukraine's energy security, as well as the issue of strengthening energy sanctions against the Russian Federation. Thank you for your visit at a time when our energy infrastructure is under massive Russian missile and drone attacks."

"More than 30 percent of the energy infrastructure in Ukraine has been affected by Russia's targeted attacks," Simson tweeted. "To repair and replace this, Ukraine needs specific equipment and tools. I assured President Zelenskyy that we are reaching out to partners to help with the dedicated support needed."

She noted that as winter approaches, Ukraine needs internationally coordinated help, and funding is just one part of the challenge; the right equipment and its swift delivery are crucial as well.

New energy advisory council holds first meeting

Simson and Ukrainian Minister of Energy German Galushchenko also co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the new International Energy Advisory Council on Tuesday, the main purpose of which, she tweeted, is to better coordinate Ukraine's needs.

During a joint press conference afterward, Simson acknowledged that her visit to Kyiv as energy commissioner this week was "sadly very timely," noting that the council meeting took place as Russia has been specifically targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure, "clearly a tactic to increase human suffering as winter is approaching. Russia's behavior is cruel and inhumane, but not surprising."

She highlighted energy-related support which has been facilitated and provided to Ukraine by the Commission, EU member states and the Energy Community, including several shipments of vital energy equipment facilitated via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and millions of euros' worth of energy equipment donations from businesses in 20 countries via the Energy Community.

The Energy Community also established a fund at her request specifically for the support of the Ukrainian energy system. "We now have €25.5 million ready to cover immediate needs," she said. "The first supplies are being bought as we speak."

The energy commissioner explained that the new advisory council's first meeting was also aimed at raising awareness of needs, encouraging contributions and coordinating action.

Campaign aims to enlist private sector help

"Together with Minister Galushchenko and the Energy Community, we are also launching a campaign to engage the private sector," she said, noting the challenges of locating and swiftly delivering the right equipment.

"We are working based on the information provided by Ukraine about what exactly is required," Simson explained. "I am reaching out to companies beyond Europe who produce equipment Ukraine needs to ask for priority treatment. I am also happy to see that member states responded with immediate offers of help since the intensified attacks, and the first shipments have already been sent out."

According to the commissioner, the EU has contributed more than €40 million worth of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threat countermeasures and equipment from EU reserves in response to the Russian military's "reckless behavior" in and around Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia and Chernobyl nuclear power plants.

The EU has also allocated €13 million for the restoration of laboratories at Chernobyl damaged by Russian occupiers, and intends to channel an additional €3.5 million in support to Ukraine to this end via the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Click here to read Simson's press conference remarks in full.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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