Russia needs to pay war reparations to Ukraine, says Polish climate minister

Extraordinary meeting of European Union energy ministers in Brussels

(This March 1 story has been officially corrected by DFC to change the amount of its exposure in Ukraine from $1 billion to $800 million and clarified the figures in paragraph 10)

By Daria Sito-Sucic

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Democratic countries worldwide should make Russia pay war reparations to Ukraine and cut all financial and economic ties with Moscow, Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said on Wednesday.

"We need to get Ukraine compensated from Russian Federation as much as possible," Moskwa said at an energy conference in Croatia's capital of Zagreb.

"It should be decent compensation for everything, for energy, for energy infrastructure, for every single human being, for environment, for whatever what was destroyed and affected," she added.

The meeting of Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation (P-TECC) gathered government officials and private investors from the United States and Europe to discuss how to help Ukraine rebuild its energy grid and switch to clean energy.

After multiple battlefield setbacks and scaling down its troop operation to Ukraine's east and south, Russia in October began bombing the country's energy infrastructure, leaving millions without power and heating for days.

The temperature in winter months often stays below freezing across most of Ukraine.

During these attacks, about 50% of the whole energy system had been hit but Ukraine has succeeded to restore electricity supplies to all consumers in the country, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the Russian invasion has united the free world in supporting Ukraine and stabilising global energy system, and also accelerated movement towards clean energy that can make countries energy self-sufficient.

"Clean energy will allow this region and the rest of world to diversify from Russian energy - it is home-grown and safe," Granholm said, adding that transformation must be led by the private sector and enabled by governments.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)already has $800 million of exposure in Ukraine, said Jake Levine, the DFC chief climate officer, adding that he believed DFC investments can mobilize over $1 billion of private sector support for Ukrainian economy.

Moskwa said that democratic states must learn a lesson from Russia's war in Ukraine in 2014, after which they continued "business as usual" with the Russian Federation.

"What we need is stop the business with Russian Federation ... if we don't want to have Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania or any other European country attacked as Ukraine was twice already," she said.

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by David Gregorio)