FILE PHOTO: Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa speaks as she takes part in an extraordinary meeting of European Union energy ministers in Brussels, Belgium July 26, 2022. REUTERS/Johanna Geron
By Daria Sito-Sucic
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Democratic countries worldwide should make Russia pay war reparations to Ukraine and cut all financial and economic ties with Moscow, Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said on Wednesday.
“We need to get Ukraine compensated from Russian Federation as much as possible,” Moskwa said at an energy conference in Croatia’s capital of Zagreb.
“It should be decent compensation for everything, for energy, for energy infrastructure, for every single human being, for environment, for whatever what was destroyed and affected,” she added.
The meeting of Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation (P-TECC) gathered government officials and private investors from the United States and Europe to discuss how to help Ukraine rebuild its energy grid and switch to clean energy.
After multiple battlefield setbacks and scaling down its troop operation to Ukraine’s east and south, Russia in October began bombing the country’s energy infrastructure, leaving millions without power and heating for days.
The temperature in winter months often stays below freezing across most of Ukraine.
During these attacks, about 50% of the whole energy system had been hit but Ukraine has succeeded to restore electricity supplies to all consumers in the country, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the Russian invasion has united the free world in supporting Ukraine and stabilising global energy system, and also accelerated movement towards clean energy that can make countries energy self-sufficient.
“Clean energy will allow this region and the rest of world to diversify from Russian energy – it is home-grown and safe,” Granholm said, adding that transformation must be led by the private sector and enabled by governments.
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)has already committed $1 billion to Ukraine, said Jake Levine, the DFC chief climate officer.
“We believe we can support Ukraine with $1 billion in private money,” Levine said.
Moskwa said that democratic states must learn a lesson from Russia’s war in Ukraine in 2014, after which they continued “business as usual” with the Russian Federation.
“What we need is stop the business with Russian Federation … if we don’t want to have Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania or any other European country attacked as Ukraine was twice already,” she said.