MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. Authorities of the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic have suspended shipments of coal to the parts of Ukraine controlled by the Kiev government until the latter lifts the blockade on deliveries of spare parts, fuels and lubricants for the railways, DPR Transport Minister Semyon Kuzmenko said on Tuesday.
"At this moment, we’re blocking Ukraine as regards the shipments of coal there and we have tough demands," he said. "The situation in Ukraine is critical now, as they need 1.2 million tons of coal a month now and we’ll be supplying it again if Kiev lifts the blockade on fuel and spare parts for coals and drive engines - and if it stops fire, of course," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him.
"DPR has no plans for supplies to Ukraine until the latter meets these demands," Kuzmenko said. "Only a third of our drive engines are operational now and we need to build up our capabilities for meeting our own needs."
Kiev stopped supplies of fuel and lubricants to Donbass at the end of June and the local railways have been eating out the reserves since then.
Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Andrei Pivovarsky said earlier Ukraine brought some 700,000 tons of coal from the zone of the armed punitive operation in Donbass in August.
Energy and Coalmines Minister Vladimir Demchishin said on August 28 Ukraine stood in need of 1.5 million tons of coal to keep the heating systems functional during the cold season of the year.
"Some 120,000 tons of coal reached our warehouses over the past week and we need another 1.5 million tons," Demchishin said, adding that Ukraine still had time for it.
Ukrainian authorities are to accumulate some 3.2 million tons of coal before October 1, including 1.4 million tons of anthracite.