Zelenskiy says Russia targeted gas facilities that secure EU supply

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said a Russian attack on his country’s energy sector on Saturday had targeted gas facilities important for supply to the European Union.

Russia continues to supply gas to the EU via Ukraine under a transit deal with Russia’s Gazprom that is set to expire in December. Ukraine’s energy minister said last month that Kyiv had no plans to extend or replace the arrangement with Moscow, which pays Ukraine to export its gas to the EU.

“The main target was the energy sector, various facilities in the industry, both electricity and gas transit facilities, in particular, those gas facilities that are crucial to ensuring safe delivery to the European Union,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

Zelenskiy, who is campaigning for supplies of defensive weapons systems from his international partners, said that Ukrainian forces had “managed to shoot down some” of the 34 Russian missiles of various types.

He did not say which specific facilities were targeted, nor whether missiles hit those targets.

Ukraine’s state-run oil and gas firm Naftogaz said Russia had attacked its facilities but that no-one was hurt and supplies to Ukrainian consumers and clients were unaffected.

Maksym Kozytskyi, the governor of Lviv region, which borders Poland, said his region had suffered strikes during an attack by cruise missiles and Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, though Ukrainian forces shot down three missiles.

He said two critical energy infrastructure objects in Stryi and Chervonohrad districts were damaged and caught fire, though emergency services quickly extinguished the flames.

Zelenskiy repeated his previous plea for defensive missiles, particularly Patriot systems, saying Ukraine needed at least seven defensive systems.

“The trajectories of the missiles and the nature of the strike were calculated by Russian terrorists in a way to make the work of our air defence system as difficult as possible,” he said. “Each downed rocket today is a significant result.”

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth in Kyiv and Elaine Monaghan in Washington; editing by David Evans)


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