Russia to supply Ukraine coal

RUSSIA will supply coal and electricity to Ukraine without advance payment as a “goodwill” gesture from President Vladimir Putin after fighting disrupted coal supplies to thermal power plants across the electricity self-sufficient country.

Anthony Barich

The announcement from Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, to TASS news agency follows Ukraine’s energy minister Voldymyr Demchyshyn holding talks with Russia’s energy ministry on coal and power supplies after earlier attempts to import Russian coal were held up at the border.

“Putin made a decision to start these supplies due to the critical situation with energy supplies and despite a lack of prepayment,” Peskov said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kosak told Rossiya 24 television that his country would supply 500,000 tonnes of coal a month to Ukraine and was prepared to double that if an additional agreement was reached.

The coal will be supplied at Russian domestic prices in a move that Kozak said should help ensure reliable energy supplies to Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in March and has suffered after the Ukraine government cut off electricity and suspended train and bus services to the region.

Energy ministry data revealed that Ukraine has 1.5 million tonnes of coal reserves, down on its normal winter stocks of 2-5Mt.

Ukrainian coal had generated about 40% of the power to thermal power plants.

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