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MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. Authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) consider coal supplies to European and Middle East countries, the republic’s head Alexander Zakharchenko said on Sunday.
"The ministry of coal and energy is seeking new markets," he said. "We should not focus on one client - Ukraine. Thus, we consider supplies to Europe and the Middle East."
The republic’s head said supplies to Ukraine had been resumed.
"We are paying pensions, we are paying wages, and we need sources of money," he continued. "Here, coal is a means of revenues for the budget, thus we have to sell coal. This would mean jobs, wellbeing of miners’ families, this means production facilities - mines should be working and producing."
On December 10, authorities of the self-proclaimed DPR resumed supplies of coal to Kiev, with up to 15,000 tons expected to be sent per day, an official at the local administration said.
"After Ukraine partially lifted Crimea’s energy blockade, the DPR authorities decided to resume coal supplies to Ukraine," Eduard Polyakov, the acting head of the industrial development strategy department of the DPR's administration, told the Donetsk news agency.
The official said the coal will be first of all shipped to the thermal power plants in Ukraine’s central regions. "This is done to decrease the burden of Ukraine’s electric power plants supplying energy to Crimea."
The DPR authorities imposed an embargo on coal deliveries to Ukraine on November 27. The measure was expected to be in force for at least two weeks. DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko said Donbass could resume coal deliveries to Ukraine if it restored electric power supplies to Crimea.