Ukrainians likely to experience coldest winter in decades, says Naftogaz head

29 August, 08:20 PM
Heating (Photo:Kharkiv heat networks)

Heating (Photo:Kharkiv heat networks)

Ukrainians are likely to experience the coldest winter in decades, Yuriy Vitrenko, chairman of the board of Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz, said in an interview with UK newspaper the Guardian on Aug. 28.

He said indoor temperatures would be set at between 17 and 18C, about four degrees lower than normal, and he advised people to stock up on blankets and warm clothes for when outdoor temperatures fall to and beyond the -10C winter average.

According to Vitrenko, “the heating season,” the period when the central heating is on, will come later and end earlier.

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He stressed the target depends on Ukraine’s international allies giving it the necessary funds to import 4 billion cubic meters-worth of gas, as well as there being no unfortunate circumstances – such as Russia destroying gas infrastructure or further decreasing its gas supplies to Europe.

“Without (Western) financial support we will lack gas and it will mean we’ll have really high risks of the power system (going) down,” Vitrenko said.

“(Without gas imports), there will be blackouts in large parts of Ukraine. In terms of heating, if we don’t have this 2 billion cbm of gas, then it will mean some of the households will not get enough heating ... so it really will be too cold.”

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