Update on current state of Ukrainian infrastructure: cooperation with the EU

Since the last article on Ukrainian infrastructure, many things have changed. russia continued shelling critical infrastructure, damaging nearly 40% of essential facilities before winter. Ukraine has to halt energy transmission to Europe, depriving neighboring countries such as Moldova and Romania of sufficient energy supplies. How do European countries help, and what steps do they plan to undertake to renew enough infrastructure?

Nearly 2-3 weeks ago, russia started to use Iranian unmanned drones that destabilized the renovation of critical infrastructure in Ukraine. The application of drones also invaded successful air defense, enabling russia to find roundabouts for crucial energy and transportation damage. The most damaged areas remain central and east regions. However, the Ukrainian government informs that Belarus escalates military near the northern border. Ukrainian military supposes russia and Belarus intend to destabilize energy infrastructure in Western regions that is essential due to significant damage to Central and East infrastructure.

As mentioned before, Ukraine is connected to the European energy net ENTSO-E and has been one of the significant contributors to energy supplies to Europe. EU and Ukraine planned to improve their partnership and increase exports from Ukraine. But, of course, recent shelling temporarily stopped them. Now, the EU and Ukraine are negotiating to provide Ukraine with sufficient help renovating damaged infrastructure. Most plans are still being developed. Volodymyr Zelensky informs that he communicates with various European countries – Poland, Germany, Italy, France, Israel, etc. and all of them promised to supply Ukraine with necessary sources before the heating season. New plants are expected so only. The most results were achieved during negotiations with Emmanuel Macron, France’s president. Although the discussed decisions remain secret, Zelensky thanked Macron for initiating the renewal of Ukrainian infrastructure.  

However, Europe helps the most in securing Ukrainian infrastructure, providing weapons and defensive mechanisms. I believe such support is essential because preventing terrorism instead of solving its consequences is more beneficial in financial and social domains. Ukrainian strategies toward the renewal of critical infrastructure remain the same. However, the massive electricity cuts are a huge challenge for Ukrainians’ routine lives. Let me illustrate it with an example from my life. Although I am currently in Germany, I still study online at my institute. It is challenging when an educator has electricity cut-offs or should go to the basement because of rocket shelling. If they manage to conduct one class, it is already a success. However, most Ukrainians understand that it is an essential step and stick to the recommendations provided by Ukrenergo.

The massive shelling of Ukrainian infrastructure is one of the emerging issues in the war. Most European countries cannot reveal precise plans on how they plan to help Ukraine because the issue appeared like two months ago. This process also poses numerous obstacles to delivering and implementing the resources of the EU. However, even discussing infrastructure damages and keeping it on the agenda significantly helps Ukraine due to a rise in awareness.   

Iryna Nykoriak

Published 02.11.2022


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