KIEV, February 14. /TASS/. In spite of an acute shortage of anthracite coal that might entail problems in the functioning of Ukraine’s entire power generating system, this country does not plan imports of electricity from Russia, Igor Nasalik, the minister of energy and coalmines told ICTV channel on Tuesday.
"I’m confident consideration of electric power imports from Russia are out of place because we won’t be importing it," he said. "Instead, we’ll be doing everything in our power to give it up altogether."
On Monday, he said direct import of electric power from Russia or supplies of Russian natural gas to power plants provided the only alternative to making up for the losses of anthracite coal in the wake of a blockade of the main coalmining regions in the rebellious Donbass by Ukrainian ultra-rightwing radicals.
Nasalik said the reserves of anthracite coal in Ukraine totaled 842,000 tons at the moment while the average daily consumption of the fuel stood at 30,000 tons. This means that, depending on the patterns of consumption, the reserve is enough to keep the power generating system in operation for forty or so days.
Nasalik also warned that disruptions in the national electric power grids might already in fourteen days’ time.
Nonetheless, Anatoly Vinogrdosky, a coordinator of the Donbass blockade said the radicals would continue the transport blockade of the parts of the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions uncontrolled by the pro-Kiev forces.
Members of the so-called Ukrainian volunteer battalions supported by a number of deputies of the Verkhovna Rada national parliament are blocking the traffic of freight trains carrying coal from the territories of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics as of January 25.
The radicals claim the blockade is necessary to plug the inflow of contraband commodities ostensibly coming alongside with coal.
The Ukrainian security service SBU has described their actions as illegal and the authorities of the Lugansk region reporting to Kiev have opened a criminal case over the blockade.