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KIEV, April 20 /TASS/. Ukraine stopped paying for electric energy which Russia supplies to the militia-controlled territories in the Donbas region as of April 10, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Vladimir Demchishin told a briefing on Monday.
"As of April 10, we no longer pay for the electric energy supplied from Russia," Demchishin said referring to Russian energy deliveries to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic.
A number of Ukraine’s energy companies do not pay for electricity bought inside the country in full measure for various reasons thus creating scarcity of funds in Ukraine, Demchishin said adding Kiev had not received payments for the energy, which Ukraine supplied to the DPR and LPR.
Earlier on Monday, the Ukrenergo Company said that it had stopped registering nodal transfers of energy on Russia’s inter-state power transmission lines, which are located in the militia held territories of the Donbas region, on April 16.
Some time ago, Demchishin said Kiev did not use backbone transmission lines to supply electric energy to the conflict-stricken areas in Donbas.
Ukraine’s Energy Ministry has asked the government for more money to develop the country’s declining coal mining industry. Demchishin told journalists that a new programme of development and modernization of the national coal mining industry would be presented at the miners’ congress on Tuesday in response to demand by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The industry needs additional 800 million hryvnnias (about 38 million dollars) for modernization of mining equipment and preparation of the longwalls, the minister said.
To reduce the cost load on the mines and in a bid to decrease the cost of the extracted coal, Ukraine’s Energy Ministry is planning to hand over all social facilities on the mines’ balance sheet to local power bodies.
According to Yatsenyuk, Ukraine has lost 55 out of 90 mines due to the conflict in the Donbas region. "We have lost the main coal brands on which Ukraine depends and which are supplied to thermal power stations," the Ukrainian prime minister said adding that only inefficient state-owned mines had remained under Ukrainian government’s control.