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UK creates fossil fuel exemption to keep Ukraine energy supplies topped up

Kwasi Kwarteng said generators will help essential services in Ukraine keep running (Victoria Jones/PA)
Kwasi Kwarteng said generators will help essential services in Ukraine keep running (Victoria Jones/PA)

The UK will exempt Ukraine from its ban on providing public support for fossil fuel energy overseas as ministers look to make sure services can continue to operate during the protracted conflict.

It comes as ministers announced that hundreds more generators are to be delivered to keep hospitals, shelters and phone masts operating as Russia continues to bombard in an attempt to seize the east of Ukraine.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the energy-related announcements were part of policies aimed at “ramping up” support for Kyiv.

Officials said Ukraine and other parts of eastern Europe would benefit from time-limited exemptions to the UK Government’s international fossil fuel support policy to ensure Britain can join global efforts to keep the embattled country’s energy supplies topped up.

The policy prevents the UK providing any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas but ministers argued that exempting Ukraine would allow London to address the energy security impact of the conflict and quickly respond to requests for assistance.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the temporary measure could see the UK supporting Ukraine to ensure there is enough fuel for vehicles involved in food production and other basic services.

Ministers could also choose to help build up energy reserves ahead of winter.

On top of the policy suspension, Britain will supply a further 287 mobile generators to Kyiv, taking the total number provided to more than 850.

The new generators, enough to power the equivalent of around 8,000 homes, have been purchased from Merseyside-based supplier Speedy Hire.

Mr Kwarteng said: “Putin’s atrocities have continued to escalate, and so we are ramping up our support to the Ukrainian people in their time of need.

“Our donation of a further 287 generators will ensure more essential services in Ukraine can keep running.”

Meanwhile, Downing Street confirmed that Boris Johnson discussed the impact the war between Ukraine and Russia is having elsewhere in Europe during a phone conversation with French president Emmanuel Macron.

Offering an account of the talks, a No 10 spokeswoman said: “They shared concerns about the fallout from the invasion of Ukraine for global energy and food prices, and agreed to work through the G7 to mitigate the impacts domestically and on developing economies.”

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