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Donetsk People’s Republic has enough coal not to freeze in winter — premier

October 22, 2014, 6:43 UTC+3 DONETSK
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DONETSK, October 22. /TASS/. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) has enough coal not to face problems during the heating season, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed republic in eastern Ukraine, Alexander Zakharchenko, told Russian reporters on Tuesday.

“We launched the heating season on October 15th,” he said. As there are no frosts at the moment, heating systems are not operating at full capacity, Zakharchenko added.

The only systems that were not tested were in the zone of combat operations, he said.

“I hope we will be gradually re-housing people, we will live through the winter time together, although may be with difficulties,” the prime minister said.

“We are not afraid of the winter as we have coal that can always be used to heat houses,” Zakharchenko said.

On Monday, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko ordered to start the heating season in the country “in all without the exception” houses before the end of this week.

Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine failed to strike a temporary agreement on gas on Tuesday. Ukraine’s failure to pay off the debt for the already supplied Russian gas is the main obstacle, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said after gas talks between Russia and Ukraine with the EU’s mediation.

Ukraine, which transits Russian gas on to European consumers, currently does not receive Russian gas for its own needs due to an unsettled dispute with Moscow over prices.

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