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Proceeding without due planning and preparation poses risks of creating ill-conceived market structures or regulations and negative unintended consequences.
Proceeding after excessive deliberation, however, allows opponents of reform to marshal their political forces and obstruct needed change.
Ukrainian officials denied these claims and began to intensify efforts to strengthen Kyiv’s position on gas matters with Russia.
In 2011, Ukraine joined the Energy Community, the group of east and southeast European countries that have voluntarily agreed to adopt the European Union’s (EU’s) internal energy market legislation.
Gas plays a particularly prominent role in heat generation—some 55 percent of the gas is consumed by district heating companies and households with private heating systems, while only 3 percent is used for electricity generation.
Nonetheless, natural gas attracted more public attention than one would necessarily expect from a fuel that provides less than one-third of total supply.
A key question is whether Ukraine is in a position to complete its unfinished energy reform business—the outlook is troubled, but the task is far from simple.
Ukraine also started to negotiate with Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary on enabling so-called reverse flows of gas, which would allow gas to flow from west to east, contrary to the region’s prevailing pattern.
Yet neither of these efforts moved rapidly to fruition.
One by one, major international oil and gas companies, which had long pursued legal and regulatory structures conducive to new upstream investment, left Ukraine.
Domestic production—mostly by Ukrainian or smaller international companies that lack the technological capacity and investment budgets of large international companies—grew only marginally, reaching 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) or around three-fifths of the country’s needs.