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DONETSK, November 12. /TASS/. Authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic will not sell coal to Ukraine before the end of hostilities, the press service of the ministry of the fuel and energy sector in the self-proclaimed republic told TASS on Wednesday.
“Over current political situation we will not sell coal to Kiev before the end of military actions,” the press service said, adding that after the end of hostilities the issue of coal supplies might be settled in top-level talks.
Ukraine's Minister of Energy and Coalmining Yuriy Prodan on Wednesday said the country has no other solution, but to buy coal in Russia or war-torn eastern coalmining region of Donbass, where militias are controlling the situation.
“There are two ways to settle the situation: to buy deficit coal in Russia or in east Ukraine. There is a threat that we will not be able to live through autumn and winter,” the minister said.
“The Republic of South Africa already denied further coal supplies to us. No less than six weeks are needed to sign a new contract. We have no other solution, but to buy coal from Russian suppliers. The coal supply situation is alarming. Energy security of the country is under threat,” Prodan said.
“We have around 1.7 million tons of coal in stock. These reserves are insufficient. We have stabilised the situation slightly from the start of this month. For this month we succeeded to stock 80 thousand tons of coal. We expect the situation to deteriorate,” the minister added.
Now Ukraine buys coal in the Republic of South Africa at the price of $86 per ton. Steel Mont Trading funds 80% of purchased supply. Three vessels have already come with coal supplies and the same number of ships with supplies is expected soon, but the coal price may change.
The transparency of the coal purchase deal with South Africa was raised at a meeting of Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense on November 4. Therefore, Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office opened a budget embezzlement case. Ukrinterenergo chief Vladimir Zinevich and Minister of Fuel and Energy Yuriy Prodan were summoned for questioning last Monday.