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Poland and Ukraine collaborate to ease fuel shortages in Ukraine

With the fuel shortages troubling Ukraine ​​due to the Russian invasion, Poland is working out ways with its war-ridden neighbour to ship more oil products to Ukraine.

“Poland can act as a major fuel transporter for Ukraine, ensuring the arrival of more than 200,000 tons of the product monthly,” Ukraine’s Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said in a Facebook post, adding that Ukraine received only 60,000 tonnes last month.

Importing almost all of its crude oil and much of the finished petrochemical products it needs, Poland is well placed to act as an intermediary, Poland’s deputy prime minister, Jacek Sasin, said, according to the Polish weekly Wprost.

Ukraine has been fraught with biting fuel shortages since the Russian attacks on its infrastructure, in particular its main fuel producer, the Kremenchuk oil refinery. Transportation bottlenecks and loss of supply from Russia and Belarus have not made the situation easier.

Ukraine consumed about 2.4 million tonnes of gasoline and around 8 million tonnes of diesel in 2021. Prior to the Russian invasion, Kyiv imported 80 percent of its oil products, with 62 percent of its gasoline and 44 percent 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,” Ms 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 Zelenskyy 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 for those with limited supplies.

The Ukrainian president also assured the people of Ukraine, especially in the western areas, that fuel would arrive there soon.

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