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Ukrainian experience of Russian attacks on critical energy infrastructure

Question écrite de M. Witold Jan WASZCZYKOWSKI - Commission européenne

Question de M. Witold Jan WASZCZYKOWSKI,

Diffusée le 19 février 2024

Subject: Ukrainian experience of Russian attacks on critical energy infrastructure

Since the very beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, critical energy infrastructure has been one of the main targets of attack. As a result, the production capacity of Ukraine’s energy sector was reduced to around 60% of what it was before the invasion.

Last winter, as many as 12 million households lost access to electricity. The Russians have launched more than 250 rocket attacks on energy infrastructure facilities, despite the fact that those facilities are civilian in nature. Cyber attacks are also wreaking havoc.

Given Moscow’s aggressive rhetoric (including the most recent words from Dmitry Medvedev about a potential nuclear attack on European capitals), I would like to ask:

1. Is the Commission drawing on Ukraine’s experience in the area of energy security to make EU countries more resilient to possible Russian attacks on European energy infrastructure, including hybrid/cyber attacks?

2. If so, who in the Commission is doing this work, what stage is it at and what tangible steps has the Commission taken in this regard?


Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 22 avril 2024

Answer given by Ms Simson on behalf of the European Commission

(23 April 2024)

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is considered by the Commission in policies on critical infrastructure.

In January 2023, the directive on the Resilience of Critical Entities ((EU) 2022/2557) (1) and the directive on measures for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union ((EU) 2022/2555 (2)) entered into force, introducing rules to strengthen resilience, including in the energy sector.

In addition, there is legislation on the security of energy supply, where Member States consider impacts of attacks in their risk assessments.

For the electricity sub-sector, the Commission adopted a regulation on sector specific rules for cybersecurity aspects of cross- border electricity flows (C2024)1383. The EU action plan on digitalisation of the energy system (COM/2022/552 final (3)) presents the main priorities in specific areas.

In December 2022, the Council adopted the recommendation on a EU-wide coordinated approach to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure (2023/C20/01) (4).

One of its key actions has been the stress test for critical infrastructure in the energy sector, which was completed in December 2023. From it stems furthermore the Commission proposal (5) for a Blueprint to enhance coordination at EU level in response to attempts to disrupt critical infrastructure with significant cross-border relevance which is being negotiated in the Council.

Since 2022, the Commission has been discussing with Member States the threat posed to critical infrastructure in the EU in classified settings of the Critical Entities Resilience Group.

The Commission also works directly with the services of Ukraine to support enhancing resilience as well as to benefit from the experience in defending critical infrastructure.

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