Kyiv Asks Residents to Stop Driving

Zelensky says he's working on solving fuel shortage but it's not easy
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2022 11:02 AM CDT
Kyiv Asks Residents to Stop Driving
Tetyana Engbarth, 52, stands next to a neighbor's car with a marking used by Russian troops to distinguish their units on the outskirts of Kyiv this month.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

(Newser) – Long lines of cars form at gas stations in Ukraine—if they have any fuel to sell. Many flash a zero on their signs next to each fuel type, meaning there's no supply. At most stations with gas, drivers are allowed to only to buy about 2½ gallons at a time. So Kyiv officials are asking residents to take public transportation more often and otherwise drive their cars less, the Washington Post reports, to save what gas there is for the troops fighting the Russian invasion. "Remember the needs of the army," city officials posted.

Russia's Black Sea blockade and strikes on Ukrainian fuel depots are contributing to the shortage, per NBC News. President Volodymyr Zelensky brought up the issue in his address to Ukrainians on Friday night. "Queues and rising prices at gas stations are seen in many regions of our country," he said, adding that said Ukraine should take all the fuel it can get from EU nations without elaborating. While Ukraine supplies run dry, Russia has been bringing in billions from its oil and natural gas exports. Sales of fossil fuels to non-EU nations have brought Russia $20 billion since the war began; those buyers include nations that have denounced the invasion, such as South Korea, Japan, and Turkey.

EU countries have bought oil, natural gas, and coal totaling about $46 billion from Russia during the war. Zelensky's office said he's begun discussions with Polish officials about selling fuel in Ukraine, and quoted the president as saying, "They really want to enter our market of gas station business." Zelensky said his government will come up with a supply system within two weeks to ease the shortages but conceded, per the AP, that "there are no immediate solutions." In the meantime, Kyiv is putting more buses, trams, and trolley buses in service. (Read more Russia-Ukraine conflict stories.)

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