Speech of the Ambassador of Ukraine to Hungary Liubov Nepop before the participants of the Budapest Energy Summit 2018 in the framework of the panel “Diversity has many faces”:
Good afternoon, dear ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me to participate in the Budapest Energy Summit and to be a part of today's panel, dedicated to the role of women in the energy industry and to diversity in this sphere.
In my opinion it is crucial to underline that when we speak about the gender equality, we understand that it must become a key principle in all spheres of our life.
The Energy industry is not an exception.
This year we have launched the international platform called Friends of deoccupation of Crimea, initiated by President of Ukraine to coordinate our and our partners’ efforts with aim to stop illegal occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula by Russia. During the discussions in this format here in Budapest, we made an emphasis on the energy dimension and invited one of the most experienced experts in this area Mrs. Svitlana Nezhnova, Head of the Board of Directors of "Chornomornaftogas", the Ukrainian state company, which property, assets, oil sources were captured by Russia together with the occupation of Crimea.
In 2017 "Naftogas", to which the "Chornomornaftogas" belongs, appealed to the Court in The Hague to get compensation from Russia because of its illegal use of the Ukrainian gas, oil and condensate in Crimea. It is expected that the Court will make its first decision in the first quarter of 2019.
During the events which were held in Budapest with participation of Mrs. Nezhnova we had the opportunity to witness her professional skills. This allows to state that women can and must be the part of the energy development of our country.
In general, I would like to emphasis, that in Ukraine we have a positive tendency of increasing of the involvement of women to the energy sector.
Deputy Minister for European Integration of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine Natalia Boyko,
Chairman of the National Commission for State Regulation in the Energy and Utilities Oksana Kryvenko,
Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Olga Belkova;
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Sustainable Development, Strategy and Investments Natalia Katser-Buchkovska are just a few bright examples of the active participation of women. It also proves that professional skills must be the most important criteria, but not the gender approach also in such spheres as energy which are traditionally considered to be a men's area.
It is also worth to mention that in the situation of modern hybrid threats Ukrainian women together with men are not only making their contribution to the improvement of the energy security of our country, but also to the defense of our country from the Russian aggression in the East of Ukraine.
While saying that I would like to note that today we celebrate the Day of Armed Forces of Ukraine and I’m proud of the fact that in Ukrainian Army we have more than 25 000 women. It is 10% of our Army. And all, men and women, are dedicated to defend their country from Russian aggression and to restore territorial integrity and peace in Ukraine.
Speaking about the Russian aggression I cannot but mention that if we think about the European energy security, we should remember that energy was and remains one of the most powerful Russian weapons in its hybrid war against the West. That is why when we speak about the North Stream 2 project, we call on our partners to see the situation clearly. It is not and never was only about economy. It is a political project.
What are the political goals of this project?
- to bypass Ukraine and to create preconditions for further aggression against our country, basing on Russian calculations that by making Europe independent from the Ukrainian gas transit Moscow will make it indifferent to the Ukraine's destiny,
- to make Europe even more dependent from Russian gas as North Stream 2 has nothing in common with diversification of gas resources and only gives to Russia one more route of bringing its gas to Europe,
- to create preconditions for increasing of the presence of the Russian military and security forces in the Baltic Sea with pretext of defence of the gas infrastructure as they did in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov after the illegal building of the Kerch bridge.
That is why we are calling on all of our partners to support the idea of blocking the building of the North Stream 2.
It will also be the adequate response to the latest Russian open aggression against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea on 25 November when our ships and sailors were attacked and captured by Russia.
Instead of undermining Ukraine's and its own security with such projects as North Steam 2 Ukraine offers to Europe to cooperate in joint modernization and exploitation of the Ukrainian gas transit system, which capacity and technical characteristics completely allow to satisfy all potential demands of our Western partners in transit of Russian gas. It will be cheaper and safer than to build a new bypassing pipeline.
We offer to our partners to move the point of receiving of Russian gas to the Ukrainian-Russian border and we can guarantee the smooth transit and preferable conditions for use of our gas storages that will make the transit through Ukraine even more profitable.
We are ready to become a part of the European internal energy space and market by implementation of the European rules with the purpose of reforming our energy sector. It will ensure you the same conditions of work in Ukrainian energy sector as in the EU.
Let's make together the energy a tool of development but not a tool of political pressure and blackmailing.
Ukraine is ready to be a part of this solution and Ukrainian women are ready to make their contribution to this process.
Thank you for your attention.