Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy has called on energy producers to boost their output. The Russian military is allegedly holding up civilian bus convoys, according to Ukrainian officials. Ukraine’s energy crisis has strained relations with its biggest trading partner and a spike in gas prices could worsen the situation. Regardless of what is happening in Ukraine, this is an attempt to maintain some level of stability in the country.
In a surprise video address to the Doha Forum, Ukraine’s president urged countries to raise their output. The president said that Russia cannot use its oil and gas wealth to blackmail other countries. Ukraine hopes energy-rich countries will help stabilize Europe. The president also pointed out that the future of Europe depends on the energy-producing countries. Despite the sanctions, Ukraine is committed to ensuring that Russia does not use its oil and gas reserves as a weapon.
Amid the crisis, US President Joe Biden said that Russia cannot remain in power. The White House has denied that Biden’s speech was a call for regime change in Russia. But the US president has reportedly offered the Ukrainian government a number of assurances, including more military support. It’s unclear if those assurances are enough to fend off Russia’s escalation.
The Russians have been bombarding Mariupol and its surroundings for more than three weeks. Multiple waves of airstrikes have cut off electricity, communication lines and food supplies. There are an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 civilians left in Mariupol after the Russian invasion. The city’s mayor, Vadym Boichenko, says “street fighting is continuing in the center of Mariupol.”
While the Russian military has stepped up its efforts to stabilize the situation in eastern Ukraine, it’s also escalating the conflict in Kyiv. The military is still occupying the city, but is now positioned defensively. Meanwhile, air attacks and long-range strikes continue around Kyiv. The city’s historical and cultural treasures are in danger of being destroyed. So, Ukraine’s president has asked energy producers to step up their output on March 26.