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Russia destroys or damages about 15 oil depots in Ukraine with missile strikes – Rada Energy Committee

KYIV. May 5 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Russia has destroyed or damaged about 15 oil depots by launching missile strikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure, head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Energy and Housing and Public Utilities Andriy Gerus has said.

"About 15 different oil depots in Ukraine were destroyed or damaged as a result of Russian missile strikes, which means that significant fuel reserves were destroyed, and the storage of petroleum products was also complicated," Gerus said at a briefing at the Media Center in Kyiv on Thursday.

He called the destruction of oil depots one of the factors in creating a shortage of fuel in Ukraine, along with a shutdown as a result of shelling of Kremenchuk oil refinery.

At the same time, according to him, the temporary deficit is connected with the reorientation of the entire market to fuel supplies from Europe in the absence of such supplies from Russia and Belarus, as well as the blocking of fuel supplies by sea by the aggressor country.

"There are certain logistical difficulties associated with the availability of fuel trucks, tanks, with the logistics and movement of this transport. There is a process of adjustment, the market is being reformatted," Gerus explained.

According to his forecast, in the near future "the market will adjust and deliveries from Europe will be more dynamic." "Perhaps, during the week there will still be a tense situation. But from the middle of May, improvement is expected, because there is a resource that has already been contracted and transported to Ukraine," the head of the energy committee said.

At the same time, he admitted that in order to overcome the shortage of fuel, the government may go for further market liberalization.

"The government has already taken certain decisions on liberalization in order for market mechanisms to work. Some further liberalization may be necessary. The Ministry of Economy and relevant departments are analyzing this issue," Gerus said.

In this regard, he urged car owners not to create a stir in the market, which, in his opinion, has also increased tension in it recently.

"The amount of fuel that was three weeks ago and now has not changed. The number of consumers who want to refuel has changed. Even in reserve, staying in line several times. This is irrational behavior, because the situation will not worsen, soon it will be possible to refuel freely," the head of the committee expressed his conviction.