KIEV Russia has begun to restrict coal supplies to Ukraine, Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn told parliament on Friday, days right after the Kremlin threatened to punish Kiev for a energy blackout of Russian-annexed Crimea.
Demchyshyn mentioned pro-Russian separatists who handle coal mines in eastern Ukraine had also halted coal supplies. He stated Kiev had one particular month of its personal coal supplies left and was looking for alternative supplies from South Africa.
“Coal supplies have been restricted from uncontrolled territory (Donbass) and from Russia,” said Demchyshyn.
“Appropriate now our energy stations have enough coal reserves in storage to final for at least one month. But in the long-term problematic concerns will arise.”
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated on Tuesday that Russia may possibly reduce coal supplies to punish Ukraine for what he stated was its deliberate refusal to support rebuild energy lines to Crimea, which were blown up by unknown saboteurs.
Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in March final year, plunging relations amongst the one particular-time allies into crisis.
Minor repair perform has been carried out on the sabotaged pylons and energy lines in southern Ukraine which provide Crimea, but none of the four pylons which were destroyed are operational.
Ukraine depends on coal to fulfil around 44 percent of its power needs. Nuclear power tends to make up about the same proportion, with the rest of its needs being met by renewable sources.
Demchyshyn mentioned two ships carrying coal from South Africa had been en route to Ukraine and would dock in December with around 250,000 tonnes of coal.
Taken collectively with Ukraine’s own coal reserves of about 1 million tonnes, he stated Kiev had sufficient coal to make sure the steady functioning of its power program for 45-50 days.
He stated Ukraine was in talks with South Africa about further coal supplies.
Ukraine earlier this week stated it was halting gas purchases from Russia. Demchyshyn stated Ukraine had 16.5 billion cubic meters of its own gas in reserve, enough for the winter heating season.
(Reporting by Natalya Zinets Editing by Andrew Osborn)