WASHINGTON, DC -- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday urged Ukraine to pursue reforms to attract foreign investment for an energy sector both sides want to become more independent from Russia.
"We reiterated... the importance that we place on Ukraine becoming more energy secure and more energy independent," Clinton said at a press briefing with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko."There is a tremendous opportunity in the future for Ukraine to develop much greater energy sufficiency by attracting investments in the natural gas sector," the chief US diplomat said following talks with Poroshenko."A lot of it, though, will depend on the economic and political reforms that Ukraine is addressing," she said."But we reiterated with the minister and his delegation that we will certainly support Ukraine becoming more integrated within the European energy security framework," she said."And we will support in any way, through technical expertise and other assistance, the development of the Ukrainian energy sector," she said."We know that there are number of investors from the United States and elsewhere who are interested in participating but the most important pre-condition is that these economic and political reforms take place," she said.Ukraine still relies almost exclusively on Russia for natural gas supplies crucial to its own industry and is also the primary transit country for Russian gas shipments to European countries further downstream.That reality, a result of a unified energy infrastructure built when Ukraine and Russia were part of the Soviet Union, is at the root of energy crises in recent years which have had broad international implications.