WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- While the Ukrainian gas issue may have short-term consequences, regional economies need to address simmering issues of their own, the World Bank said.
A report from the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights finds residents across Ukraine are growing concerned about energy issues, as they fear there could be a natural gas shortage this winter.
"The tensions in Ukraine have clearly had an impact on the country's growth and have disrupted economic activity," Laura Tuck, vice president for the World Bank's emerging Europe and Central Asia region, said in a statement. "But many of the structural problems that confront countries in the region existed before the crisis and still need to be urgently addressed."
Political upheaval in Ukraine in November left an economy already damaged by recession in shambles. Russian energy company Gazprom cut gas supplies to Ukraine earlier this year because of mounting debt.
Tuck said the bank was monitoring the potential short-term impact the Ukrainian crisis for the region, though there are longer-term issues that need to be addressed.
From Central Europe to the Balkans, economies need to rekindle their economies as the recession ends.
"In Russia and many neighboring countries, key are reforms to enhance competitiveness and create sources of growth beyond oil and gas," she said.