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European Commission hopes Ukraine reforms energy market soon

Designing and introducing a new electricity market model is high on European Commission's agenda

The key expectations of the European Commission towards Ukraine are linked to the quick reform of the energy market and the adoption of laws on the electricity market and the national regulator, as well as the continuation of the gas market reform, DTEK CEO Maksym Tymchenko said after a meeting with Vice-President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic this week in Brussels.

"Now one of the key priorities of the European Commission is designing and introducing a new electricity market model. The commission also is keeping a close eye to the fate of the measure on the regulator," he told Interfax-Ukraine, commenting on the recent talks.

Tymchenko recalled that the energy market reform is the condition for providing two macro-financial assistance tranches of EUR 600 million each to Ukraine.

"If the draft laws are passed by the end of June, I am sure that we would be able to see large progress in the electricity market and the gas market by the end of the year," he said.

He added that the issue of reliable operation of heat generating facilities in the coming autumn and winter period and stability of anthracite supplies from the territories that are not under control of Ukraine were discussed.

"Unfortunately, today the situation is complicated by the absence of mechanisms for paying salaries to Ukrzaliznytsia's employees who work in the uncontrolled territory," Tymchenko said. He said that if the issue of railways operation is settled, Ukraine's heat generating facilities would have enough anthracite stocks.

The DTEK chief said that European partners are concerned with the traditional issue of gas and Ukraine's energy security. He said that their position is unchanged: Ukraine would be able to satisfy its needs in gas in five years using Ukrainian-produced gas and transparent rules on the gas market. Tymchenko said that DTEK was able to triple gas production in the past two and a half years and seeks to produce over 1.5 billion cubic meters by the end of this year.

"My feeling is that for colleagues from Brussels it is important to understand and be sure that the reform process is irreversible and would not slow down… Steeling the phrase of Sefcovic "We need good stories coming from Ukraine," Tymchenko said.

He also noted that the work on the new memorandum of understanding in the energy sphere is underway. It would reaffirm the status of energy cooperation and five key directions laid to the strategy of the Energy Community: energy security, integrated electricity market, energy efficiency, environment protection and research and innovations.

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