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Ukraine fuel imports jump to fill domestic needs - ministry

·1-min read
Drivers stay in line outside a petrol station as they try to buy fuel in Kyiv

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine has sharply increased fuel imports in recent months to overcome shortages which hit the country after the Russian invasion, the economy ministry said on Friday.

Ukrainian officials have sought ways to cover consumption since Russian forces started attacking fuel depots and other facilities following its Feb. 24 invasion.

The ministry said Ukraine had imported 709,500 tonnes of fuel in August versus 380,800 tonnes in May and 58,800 tonnes in March.

"On the market, we can see the gradual accumulation of reserves of petroleum products due to the constant growth of import volumes," economy minister Yulia Svyridenko was quoted as saying.

"That is why today there is no hyped demand for fuel, there are no queues at gas stations, and prices do not show a tendency towards rapid growth."

The ministry said Ukraine needed up to 550,000 tonnes of fuel a month and before the war almost all fuel imports came from Russia and Belarus.

Now, the ministry said, 95% of imported gasoline and 72% of diesel fuel are coming from the European Union states of Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Greece, Bulgaria and Poland.

"Quite quickly we were able to radically change the vector of oil product imports in such a way as to receive them in sufficient quantities to cover all our needs," Svyrydenko said.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)