KIEV, November 24. /TASS/. Suspension of coal supplies from Russia will entail serious energy shortages in Ukraine, a Ukrainian expert said on Monday.
“It is a very dangerous signal: if we receive no coal from Russia we have little chance to find other sources to substitute for it,” Dmitry Marunich, a co-chairman of the Ukrainian Energy Strategies Fund, told the 112 Ukraine television channel. “We will simply have no time and money to sign coal contracts with other suppliers in other countries. We must not let it happen. It will trigger a serious shortage in electricity supplies and rotating power cuts will be inevitable.”
Earlier on Monday, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yury Prodan confirmed reports that Russian companies had suspended exports of steam coal to Ukraine.
“According to information I have received from DTEK and Centrenergo, Russian companies have suspended coal export to Ukraine,” he told the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper. “I do not know why but I can say that the reasons are not economic. Both DTEK and Centrenergo pay for coal in due time.”
Coal exports have been stopped from the evening of November 21, he said, adding that he had no information when they might be resumed.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s energy company DTEK (Donbass Fuel-Energy Company) also confirmed that coal supplies from Russia had been suspended. “DTEK confirms that coal supplies under our contracts with (Russia’s) Kuzbass contractors were suspended from the evening of November 21. The company has received no official notification of delays. Now we are trying to clarify the situation,” the company said in a press release.
The company has imported about 1.3 million tons of coal for its heat stations from Russia since August. “Imported coal is used at DTEK’s heat stations that operate on anthracite coals. Ukraine is facing shortages in supplies of such coals due to the impossibility to use own coal reserves located in territories of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions that are not controlled by Ukraine. We hope the situation will be clarified soon and supplies will be resumed in regular regime,” DTEK said.
The company said it had made all advance payments to its Russian partners as stipulated by the current contracts and expected them to fulfill their liabilities.