Poland and Ukraine are working out ways to ship more oil products to Ukraine and ease fuel shortages there caused by the Russian invasion, officials from both countries said after a joint meeting.
“Poland can act as a major fuel transporter for Ukraine, ensuring the arrival of more than 200,000 tons of product monthly,” Ukraine’s Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said in a Facebook post.
Last month, Ukraine received only 60,000 tons, she added.
Poland imports almost all of its crude oil and much of the finished petrochemical products it needs, so it is well placed to act as an intermediary, Poland’s deputy prime minister, Jacek Sasin, said, according to the Polish weekly Wprost.
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Ukraine has been facing significant fuel shortages since Russian attacks on its infrastructure, especially its main fuel producer, the Kremenchuk oil refinery. Transportation bottlenecks and loss of supply from Russia and Belarus have worsened the situation.
Ukraine consumed around 2.4 million tonnes of gasoline and around 8 million tonnes of diesel in 2021. Before the war, it imported 80% of its oil products, with 62% of its gasoline and 44% of its diesel coming from Russia and Belarus.
“We expect that we will be able to include oil products from the United States, the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region and German, Scandinavian and Baltic oil processing plants,” Svyrydenko said. “Fuel will be delivered by combined types of transportation through Poland.”
Polish officials said some logistical issues needed to be worked out, especially in relation to rail transportation, as the two countries use different railway gauges, but Warsaw was ready to work on increasing shipments.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has pledged to take steps by mid-May to end the shortages that have closed about half of the country’s approximately 7,000 fuel stations and created long lines at those with limited supplies.
Source: Reuters (Reporting in Melbourne by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Bradley Perrett)