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Europe wants to speed up electricity grid connection with Ukraine By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson delivers a speech on the state of the Energy Union, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, November 24, 2021. Julien Warnand/Pool via REUTERS

By Kate Abnet

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union wants Ukraine’s electricity grid to be synchronized with the European grid as soon as possible, the bloc’s energy policy chief said on Sunday, which would make it more independent of Russia.

Ukraine has started testing its power grid in a step to link it to a European grid and decouple from a network linked to Russia, which invaded the country on Thursday.

The change would mean that Russia would no longer control technical aspects of the Ukrainian network such as network frequency.

EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said she would seek support from EU countries and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) for an emergency connection with Ukraine.

“I hope that the technical work towards synchronization with continental Europe can continue unaffected by the Russian attack. Tomorrow I will ask ENTSO-E and Member States for their support for emergency synchronization as soon as possible. quickly as possible,” Simson said in a tweet on Sunday. .

Europe and Ukraine have been planning for years to synchronize their power grids, with Ukraine seeking to decouple from a system tied to Belarus and other former Soviet states.

Ukraine, with a population of 41 million, is one of the biggest energy consumers in Europe. About 55% of the country’s electricity production is provided by four nuclear power plants.

Energy ministers from EU countries will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the impact on energy markets of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including potential shocks to the energy supply.

The ministers will also discuss possible assistance to Ukraine’s energy sector, according to a document shared with the countries ahead of the meeting, seen by Reuters.

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