The former Soviet newspaper of record, today Russia’s biggest daily broadsheet Izvestia announced this week that energy consumption and demand for oil products in Ukraine have fallen sharply because of political and economic crises plaguing the country.
Russian Defense Ministry television station Zvezda quickly followed suit declaring that Ukraine was introducing austerity measures driven by its economic crisis.
The austerity measure Zvezda refers to is Ukraine’s decreasing reliance on Russian oil and Kyiv’s diversification of its energy sources. According to the country’s State Fiscal Service, Ukraine’s oil imports are in fact growing, but it is oil imported from countries other than Russia. In the first quarter of 2017 Ukraine imported 82 million dollars’ worth of oil products from Azerbaijan (82%), Kazakhstan (14%) and only 2.6% of its supplies came from Russia.
In 2016 Ukraine spent 173 million dollars for imported oil, 0.10% of those imports came from Russia. According to the petroleum company Ukrtatnafta Kyiv’s determination to diversify oil imports increased because of Russia blocking oil supplies to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s energy strategy through 2030 calls for ending Ukraine’s reliance on energy supplies from monopolist sources and increasing the country’s energy security through diversification of routes and sources – most importantly, away from Moscow.