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Ukraine can purchase Russian coal — Ukrainian official

November 11, 2014, 21:13 UTC+3 KIEV
The decision would depend on the policy of Ukraine's new government
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© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Smityuk

KIEV, November 11. /TASS/. Ukraine can purchase Russian coal to ensure the work of Ukrainian thermal power stations, Ukrinterenergo director Vladimir Zinevich said on Tuesday.

However, he said the decision would depend on the new Ukrainian government’s policy.

“Let’s wait for forming the coalition, the new government and the new energy strategy in order to understand if there is the direction towards diversification or not,” Zinevich said.

Ukraine can buy the necessary amount of Russian coal. But it does not do it for political motives, he said.

“I answer - yes, we can. We can buy all in Russia. If we need a diversified source, this is the political question,” Zinevich said.

Commenting on the essence of the authorities’ claims to Ukrinterenergo due to the deal on South African coal supplies to Ukraine, he said Kiev could not do this on its own, without a trader, because “first of all, it is not real to receive 80% financial support on the market today”.

“A loan of at least $38 million was taken to organize the purchases,” Zinevich said.

Coal supplied to Ukraine from South Africa costs $86 per ton. The final price of coal after its delivery to a thermal power plant reaches $110-$112. Steel Mont Trading provides 80% financial support. Three vessels of coal have arrived and as many vessels are expected to make the harbour. However, the price can change.

On November 4 the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council raised the question of transparency of the deal. The Prosecutor General’s Office instituted criminal proceedings on embezzlement. On Monday, November 10, Zinevich and Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuri Prodan were summoned for questioning.

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