KIEV, October 29. /TASS/. Kiev may soon ramp up firewood exports to Europe to help the continent grapple with its natural gas crisis, Head of Ukraine’s Analysis and Strategy Center Igor Chalenko said on Friday.
"Firewood is, undoubtedly, an interesting commodity for exports, especially for the European Union’s market. In this heating season, they fall short by 70 billion cubic meters to cover their needs until the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline gets up and running," the expert told a press conference
Ukraine is among Europe’s top ten states in terms of forest-covered areas, he pointed out. "The EU understands this and is considering firewood as an energy product," Chalenko said.
Kiev may soon lift its ban on massive timber exports, including round timber, despite the disastrous situation with forest felling in western Ukraine, the expert argued.
"The moratorium’s removal is a condition for Ukraine to receive a 600 million-euro tranche from the European Commission," he said.
The resumption of raw timber exports, however, will affect the Ukrainian timber processing industry, he said.
This autumn, Ukrainian households have been experiencing a shortage of firewood due to considerable energy price hikes given the current shortage of resources. The heightened demand has been triggered by soaring prices. As Chalenko said, firewood prices have skyrocketed 50%-200% in the country.