Ukraine joined the US-aligned International Energy Agency as an association country on Tuesday, the watchdog said, binding Kyiv closer to the mostly Western countries which oppose Russia’s invasion.
The Paris-based IEA consists of 31 big energy consuming member countries but not Russia and has a second tier of 11 so-called association states such as China, India and Indonesia.
“In these particularly challenging times following Russia’s unprovoked invasion, we are further strengthening the relationship to support Ukraine’s significant reconstruction needs and help it build a new energy future,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said a signing ceremony in Warsaw.
“Ukraine has an important energy security role in Europe and beyond,” he added.
Ukraine has remained a major transit route for Russian gas to Europe even after Moscow’s invasion.
Founded around the time of the Arab oil embargo as a bulwark against energy shocks and forum to share information on supply, the IEA now seeks to insulate its members and the global economy from an energy crunch which has raised recession fears.
Bans on imports of Russian oil by its members which have helped drive up prices and inflation have not been implemented by the association countries. (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru and Noah Browning in London; editing by David Evans)