KIEV, November 12. /TASS/. Ukraine is de-facto in the state of an ‘energy war’ with Russia, Ukrainian Deputy Energy Minister Maxim Nemchinov told the 1+1 TV channel early on Friday.
"Today, we are de-facto in the state of an energy war with Russia, which is blocking imports from Kazakhstan by not letting rail carriages with coal to travel to Ukraine and constantly reducing the contracted amounts of gas transit. In other words, they do everything to make us feel this energy crisis," he said.
Earlier, Andrei Gerus, the chairman of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada committee for energy and public utilities, claimed that Russia had blocked coal deliveries to Ukraine from Kazakhstan. At the same time, Kazakhstan’s ministry of industry and infrastructure development did not confirm these reports, saying that Russia did not block the deliveries, but "there are certain limitations due to the load on Russian infrastructure."
On October 29, Ukraine announced that Russia had stopped thermal coal supplies to the country. The Russian Ministry of Economic Development, in turn, said that the move stemmed from a rise in domestic demand during the fall and winter season. The ministry stressed that given the ongoing supply of other coal types, Russian companies would account for more than half of coal supplies to Ukraine in November.
Besides, Kiev has repeatedly accused Russia of using gas supplies as a "geopolitical weapon." The Ukrainian government said on many occasions that the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project allegedly poses a threat to Ukraine's energy security. The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that Nord Stream 2 is a commercial project, and Moscow has never used its energy resources as an instrument of pressure.
Commenting on gas supplies to Ukraine, Nemchinov said his country was negotiating direct supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar via terminals in Poland.
"Indeed, we are working on direct contracts with Qatar. It’s a difficult story, but we are working on that, really," he said, adding that the deliveries will be carried via two terminals in Poland, Gdansk and Swinoujscie.
"The capacity of Ukrainian-Polish gas infrastructure is not particularly big. We are working to increase it and get an opportunity to receive LNG from these two terminals under a direct contract with Qatar," the deputy minister added.
Earlier, the office of the Ukrainian president said Vladimir Zelensky met with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the sidelines of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to discuss the possibility of LNG deliveries from Qatar.