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Authorities in Ukraine’s Lviv Region start talks with miners blocking road to Poland

January 12, 2016, 20:09 UTC+3 KIEV

The protesters keep walking the pedestrian crossings both ways non-stop to upset traffic

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KIEV, January 12. /TASS/. The authorities in Ukraine’s Lviv Region and police have started negotiations with coalminers from the Stepnaya pit (an affiliate of the Lvovugol coalmining state-run enterprise) on lifting the blockade from the Lviv-Rava Russkaya road leading towards the Polish border, Lviv police force spokesperson Svetlana Dobrovolskaya said on the 112 TV channel.

"Police and the local authorities are holding talks with the coal workers. We do hope that the road will be unblocked soon," she said.

Dobrovolskaya said the ongoing protest was a peaceful one.

"They just keep walking the pedestrian crossings both ways non-stop to upset traffic. Road police patrols present at the site are turning the drivers back," Dobrovolskaya said.

About 250 coal workers from the Stepnaya mine in the morning of January 12 blocked the Lvov-Rava Russkaya road to demand the payment of back wages for November and December.

On January 2, 2016 coalminers turned out for an open-ended spontaneous rally and on January 11 they blocked a local road near Krasnograd. The organizers also warned to upset the operation of customs checkpoints on the border with Poland.

The Energy and Coal Industry Ministry has promised the debts to miners will be settled without delay. An equivalent of $20.8 million has been reserved in the budget for the purpose. Prosecutors say delayed November and December wages to the employees of Lvovugol’s affiliates stand at about $2.9 million.

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