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Kyiv residents told to save gas for troops fighting Russia, stop driving

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Kyiv residents told to save gas for troops fighting Russia, stop driving

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On Friday, Kyiv city officials urged residents to stop driving private cars to save Ukraine’s limited fuel supplies for troops fighting a Russian invasion, a statement reflecting uncertainty over energy stability in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe.

The city government has encouraged commuters to use public transport, which is slowly returning after Russian troops abandoned their attempt to occupy the Ukrainian capital about a month ago. “Remember the needs of the military,” the officials said in a Telegram post.

The wartime measure is a reminder that a surge in global energy prices following Russia’s February 24 invasion has had very different effects on Moscow and Kyiv. Two months after the Russian attack, Ukrainians directly outside the battlefield are struggling to regain a sense of normalcy. (City figures show that Kyiv now has 140 buses, 70 trams and 77 trolleybuses, compared with about 150 buses and 30 trolleybuses on April 5, days after Russian troops withdrew from the capital’s outskirts.) tram.)

By contrast, Russia earns tens of billions of dollars by exporting oil and gas, mainly to EU countries.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged Ukraine’s fuel shortage in a speech Friday night. Russia has announced it is targeting Ukrainian fuel facilities, and Zelensky noted that the Kremlin’s blockade of Ukraine’s seaports has exacerbated the energy crunch.

“Lines and price hikes can be seen in many parts of our country,” he said.

Zelensky said his government would set up a “fuel supply system” within two weeks to alleviate the problem, “no matter how difficult it is.” He did not elaborate, but said Ukraine must also “obtain our citizens from the EU” fuel needed now.” What he meant was not very clear. Some of Russia’s energy exports reach EU countries through pipelines that cross Ukrainian territory.

Prolonged war in Ukraine poses major problems for global economy

The European Union is grappling with a major energy challenge, with Russia this week suspending gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria. Prices are soaring as the European Union sanctioned Moscow for aggression and took steps to reduce energy purchases from Russia. Inflation in the euro area (19 countries that use the euro as their currency) rose to 7.5% this month; energy inflation hovered around 40% on an annualized basis.

The EU’s 27 member states still rely on Russia for energy, and the average monthly payment to Moscow for fossil fuels has multiplied in recent months.

According to a report by the Finnish think tank Centre for Energy and Clean Air Research, EU countries have bought oil, gas and coal from Russia worth about $46 billion, or about $23 billion a month, since the invasion began. According to the European Commission, EU energy imports from Russia totaled $104 billion last year, averaging more than $8.5 billion a month.

In the two months after the attack on Ukraine, Russia exported an additional $20 billion in fossil fuels to non-EU countries including South Korea, Japan and Turkey, all of which have condemned the Kremlin invasion. China has purchased about $7 billion in Russian fossil fuels since the war began.

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