Ukraine has electricity reserves, no more outages planned if no new strikes

KYIV - - Ukraine plans no more outages to ration electricity if there are no new strikes and has been able to amass some power reserves, the energy minister said on Saturday, after months of interruptions caused by Russian bombings.

"Electricity restrictions will not be introduced, provided there are no strikes by the Russian Federation on infrastructure facilities," Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said in remarks posted on the ministry's Telegram messaging platform.

"Outages will only be used for repairs."

After multiple battlefield setbacks and scaling down its troop operation to Ukraine's east and south, Russia in October began bombing the country's energy infrastructure, leaving millions without power and heat for days on end.

The temperature in winter months often stays below freezing across most of Ukraine. Halushchenko said this heating season has been extremely difficult.

"But our power engineers managed to maintain the power system, and for the third week in a row, electricity generation has ensured consumption needs, we have reserves," Halushchenko said.

Ukraine, which does not produce power generators itself, has imported and received thousands of them over the past few years, with the U.S. pledging a further $10 billion on Friday to aid Kyiv's energy needs.

Separately, the chief executive of state grid operator Ukrenergo, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, said that repair works on the damaged infrastructure in the city of Odesa suffered earlier this month, has been finished.

"Starting this evening, there is more light in Odesa," Kudrytskyi wrote on his Facebook page. "The crews that worked on restoring networks are moving to other facilities."

A Feb. 4 fire that broke out at an overloaded power station left hundreds of thousands of residents without electricity.


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