“We have very big reserves of coal, our storage facilities are full. We are ready to sell it already nw. We have enough coal not only for our republic but for entire Ukraine,” he said.
Earlier, Ukraine’s newly-appointed minister of energy and coal industry, Vladimir Demchishin, said Ukraine may take out about 2 million tons of coal from the conflict-hit Donbas region. He explained that Ukraine was not planning to buy that coal but wanted to take it out from the storehouses of the Ugol Ukrainy (Ukraine’s Coal) state-owned company. “This coal belongs to Ukraine and the coal is at Ukrainian mines. I hope we will be able to solve the problem as soon as we have an opportunity to take it out via Debaltsevo,” Demchishin said.
However officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said Ukraine could not take the coal from storehouses in Donbass for free. “Ukraine’s state budget has frozen on Donetsk mines’ accounts 218 million hryvnias ($14.35 million ). Moreover, the budget owes 816 million hryvnias ($53.73 million) in wages to Donbass miners, who haven’t been paid their salaries since July,” the DPR ministry of fuel and energy said.