KIEV, December 3. /TASS/. Ukraine cannot do without coal bought from self-proclaimed republics of Donbass, the country’s Ukraine's Deputy Minister for Occupied Territories Georgy Tuka said in an interview with the Ukrainian Apostrof publication on Saturday.
"Coal is coming from Donbass as Ukraine cannot do without it," Tuka said, noting that houses in a third of Ukraine’s territory are heated with the coal arriving from the areas not controlled by Kiev.
"Whether we like it or not, as of today the houses in approximately one third of Ukrainian territory are heated with the coal of Group A, namely the anthracite coal mined in the area out of our control," Tuka said, naming as "militant amateurism" the calls to fully refuse from buying this coal.
The deputy minister emphasized that even buying coal in foreign countries, Ukraine would not be able to "fully reject (deliveries) from Donbass". The process "cannot be called coal purchases as the extracted coal is transported from one affiliate of the Ukrainian DTEK (the Donetsk-based energy company) to another," he added.
Earlier, Igor Kononenko, deputy head of the Pyotr Poroshenko Bloc faction at the Ukrainian parliament, said that Kiev was buying coal in Donbass as its price was lower than of the coal from South Africa.