KIEV, June 8. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced his country was suspending all coal and gas exports ahead of what he described as "the most difficult winter during all years of independence."
"Due to the war, it will indeed be the most difficult winter during all years of independence. <…> During this period, we won’t sell our gas and coal abroad. All domestic production will focus on meeting the internal demand," Zelensky said in a video address, posted on his Telegram channel.
Prime Minister Denis Shmygal said earlier coal production in Ukraine’s state-run mines had declined by one third since late February and recommended "to brace for Ukraine’s most difficult heating season ever."
The government tasked the state-run oil and gas company Naftogaz with accumulating at least 19 billion cubic meters of gas in Ukrainian underground storage facilities. According to Shmygal, Ukraine completed its previous heating season with 9 billion cubic meters of gas remaining in its storages. As of June 1, the country had 10 billion cubic meters of gas at its disposal.