Endless Repairs: Experts Commented on the State of Advancing Reforms in the Sector of Energy and Environment
In 2018, Ukraine continued to fulfill its obligations under the Association Agreement in sectors of energy and environment, with the largest delays recorded at the stage of implementation of already adopted decisions. In turn, the year of 2019 bears the risks of further slowdown of reforms as well as arising of security issues, in particular transit of gas and energy supply to districts close to the frontline. Such conclusions were made public by the experts of the coalition “Energy Reforms” within the framework of the presentation of the annual monitoring report for 2018 “Ukraine and the Association Agreement: Endless Repair” on 18 April 2019 at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.
Regulated prices for the population and heat producers as well as the separation of the GTS operator from NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine remain on the agenda of reforms in the gas sector. In both cases, experts called for avoiding populism and seek a more competitive market operation. “In addition to tariffs and unbundling, political changes in Ukraine may affect the trilateral negotiations on gas transit. It is important here to prevent weakening of positions and, on the contrary, to strengthen them through a consistent continuation of reforms. The EU supports Ukraine in these efforts, both through the relevant amendments to the Gas Directive, which complicate the progress to the Nord Stream 2, and by updating the annex to the Association Agreement,” said Roman Nitsovych, DiXi Group’s expert in the gas sector.
According to Svitlana Holikova, an expert who spoke about the electricity sector, the formation of a legislative framework for the introduction of a new electricity market was almost completed in 2018, and the retail electricity market started to work in 2019. “The main task for 2019 is to open the market for all participants, resolve and restructure debts,” the expert noted.