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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken renewed his vow Tuesday to “work tirelessly” with G7 partners to “repair, replace and defend” Ukraine’s energy supply throughout the winter as the country faces more attacks from Russia. File photo by Michael A. McCoy/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 27 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken renewed his vow on Tuesday to “work tirelessly” with Group of Seven partners to “repair, replace and defend” Ukraine’s energy supply throughout the winter as the country faces more attacks from Russia.
“We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Blinken wrote Tuesday in a tweet. “A tough winter lies ahead for Ukrainians, and we will work tirelessly with the G7 and other partners to repair, replace and defend Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.”
Blinken also attached President Joe Biden’s tweet from last week’s visit to Washington, D.C., by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“What President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine have achieved matters for the entire world. Together, the United States and Ukraine will keep the flame of liberty burning bright,” Biden tweeted Wednesday. “That light — again — will prevail over darkness.”
Last month, Blinken announced the United States would provide $53 million to help Ukraine acquire equipment to repair and upgrade the country’s energy grid. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia and President Vladimir Putin of using winter as a weapon of war in attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure, which he said were “depriving millions of basic human services.”
The initial shipment of equipment from the United States, to help restore Ukraine’s infrastructure damaged in ongoing Russian attacks, was delivered earlier this month.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said in a Facebook post on Dec. 17, that his country had already received its first tranche of the much-needed equipment from the U.S. Department of Energy.
“This shipment is part of the $53 million aid announced by American partners last month,” Kubrakov said.
On Tuesday, Putin banned the export of oil to the United States, as well as other G7 and European Union nations, in response to Western price caps on Russian oil.
The ban, which applies to all Russian oil and petroleum products, will go into effect on Feb. 1 and be enforced until July 1.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s power outages have declined as parts of the electric grid are restored and weather conditions remain favorable, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal announced on Tuesday.
“The number of emergency outages is decreasing. This became possible thanks to the heroic work of our power engineers to restore damaged equipment, reduce consumption on weekends and the absence of frosty weather,” Shmyhal said.
“Today, on Dec. 27, after emergency restoration works, two units of thermal power plants were reconnected to the grid.”
Blinken renews vow to ‘repair, replace, defend’ Ukraine’s energy supply – Vigour Times
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