Ukraine finally, for the first time in 16 years, passed a draft law due to which the NCEPUR has to become a really independent body, and the state has no other way but to implement that law in practice. This is what was discussed at the round table "NCEPUR - Legal Issues: what's next?" held on December 5 with the support from the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety and with the assistance of the British Government.
Oleksandr Dombrovskyi, the First Deputy Chairperson of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety, said: "It so happens that everything related to reforms in the energy market in Ukraine shows little progress. I congratulate everybody on the adoption of this important draft law. Though there are a lot of challenges ahead, we have managed to adopt this draft law, and this means that the first, most important, step has been taken. I believe we can do more".
Olha Belkova, Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety, in her turn, added that this law is one of the fundamental ones in 2016, and for the Committee it is one of the three fundamental laws. "At present, there are no conflicts regarding this document between the Government, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the NCEPUR, so we have a lot of work ahead. The Commission will have a lot to do and the first steps in this direction should be taken now," added Olha Belkova.
Karolina Chehir, Head of the Gas Department of the Energy Community Secretariat, thanked everyone who contributed to the work on this very important law for Ukraine: "First of all, I am grateful to the Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex and the DiXi Group Think Tank for their hard work which has already been done and which will be done in future. I would like to note that the new regulator should become financially independent, as well as independent of the influence of some market players and political situation. Only under such conditions is a real breakthrough possible in the energy market of Ukraine. I have no other messages, except the key one: let's implement this law."
Meanwhile, Olena Pavlenko, President of the DiXi Group Think Tank, noted that, pursuant to the law, Ukraine has very little time to perform a large number of urgent and important steps (for example, the formation of the Tender Commission takes approximately 2 months, so the negotiations on candidates to the Commission should be conducted right now) that should encourage all the stakeholders to proceed to business as soon as possible.
Dmytro Vovk, Head of the NCEPUR, in his turn, said that the first steps in implementing the law have already been taken and the Commission is not going to stop: "Changes will continue, that's for sure."
It should be noted that the international community fully supports the reforms in the energy sector in Ukraine and stands ready to facilitate the implementation of the Energy Regulator Law in future.
In particular, Andrii Bukvic, a representative of the British Embassy in Ukraine, said: "The British government welcomes the draft law, because it is a clear evidence of the political will in reforming the legislation of Ukraine. The British government has supported and will support all the stakeholders in adopting the necessary secondary legislation," he added.
Torsten Vellert, Head of the Energy and Environment Section of the European Commission Support Group for Ukraine, and Diana Korsakaite, Head of USAID Municipal Energy Reform in Ukraine Project, said that Europe and the US are ready to assist Ukraine in the further implementation of the law (in particular, in the work on effective secondary legislation) because it is essential and meets the challenges Ukraine is facing.
"Transparency and transparency once again is the most important issue in the functioning of the regulator. The law provides the basis for long-term quality improvements in the energy sector. And we are ready to go on working on them," said Ms. Korsakaite.
Materials of "Ukrainian Energy"