Ukraine’s ambition to become integrated with the European grid to gain access to European energy markets is likely to remain a dream until reform and liberalization of its energy sector.

Ukraine is keen to take advantage of liberalization of the EU energy market to sell electricity. The transmission lines through the Ukraine are some of the highest capacity in the former Soviet Union and are an obvious route for export of power.

But integration of the Soviet era grid with the EU grid is likely to be a lengthy process. The process could take a long time. Technical problems have yet to be resolved, although viable solutions are available.

Access to EU markets is likely to prove difficult until Ukraine becomes serious about privatizing its generation and distribution sectors and accepting a competitive market. The government suspended sales of shares in electricity companies in 1998 after only small stakes had changed hands.

Ukraine could become an energy bridge between the CIS and Western Europe, but it must accept Europeanization of prices.