Panel IXa Cross-border cooperation, a Catalytic factor for Ukraine’s Reconstruction Process
The panel was chaired by Mr. Ion IONIȚĂ, Senior editor Adevărul, Editor in chief, Historia, Romania who was joined by Mr. Ionel BOGDAN, Chairman of Maramures County Council, Romania, Mr. Sergii KROPYVA, Deputy Head of Odesa Regional State Administration for Digital Development, Digital Transformation and Digitalisation (CDTO), Ukraine (via VTC), Mr. Ruslan ZAPARANYUK, Chairman of Chernivtsi Regional Administration, Ukraine (via VTC), Mr. Gheorghe FLUTUR, Chairman of Suceava County Council, Romania (via VTC), Mr. Roman SARAI, Chairman of Transcarpathia Regional Council, Ukraine (via VTC) and Mrs. Ganna TSIMBOLYNETS, Director, Regional Development Agency of Zakarpattia Region, Ukraine.
Following the onset of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, cooperation between regional authorities in Ukraine and Romania has reached remarkable levels. The efficient management of an extremely tense security situation has required significant efforts, underscoring the crucial importance of bilateral collaboration. Currently, in light of Ukraine’s efforts to meet the conditions for European Union accession, cross-border cooperation has become a strategic priority. Ukrainian regional authorities demonstrate concrete interest in collaborating to access European funds dedicated to regional development, despite challenges such as a shortage of qualified personnel and financial resources for co-financing projects. At present, a grant project to interconnect Romania, Ukraine, Poland and the Republic of Moldova via European gauge railways is being developed.
Panel IXb Black Sea Gas Reserves – Current Challenges, Future Developments
This discussion was moderated by Mr. Bogdan BERNEAGĂ, Senior Associate Expert, New Strategy Center, Romania. The panel also hosted as speakers Mr. Mykola KOLISNYK, Deputy Minister of Energy, Ukraine, Mr. Lóránt ANTAL, Chairman of the Energy Committee, Senate, Romania Mr. Alexandru MAXIMESCU, Vice President, OMV Petrom, Romania and Mr. Dmytro LYPPA, CEO, Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU), Ukraine.
Since the annexation of Crimea, the Black Sea region has remained underexploited in terms of energy, but this is changing, especially considering the prospect of tapping into the national resources of the Neptun Deep shelf in 2027. For these Black Sea gas resources to be properly exploited, both by Romania and Ukraine, a long-term security framework is needed first and foremost, and investment in this regard must start today. Energy security also means national and territorial security.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, all investment projects in natural gas exploitation and interconnection of energy infrastructures in the region have been stepped up. Romania may soon be a key regional energy supplier and the largest exporter of natural gas in the European Union. However, the remaining Russian gas consumption in some EU countries still needs to be overcome and Romania and Ukraine can help in this diversification process.