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Russia Will Supply Coal to Ukraine Without Pre-Payment

Dec. 29, 2014 (EIRNS)—Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Dec. 27 that Russia would ship coal to Ukraine without the agreed on pre-payment, according to TASS.

"Against all the odds, as President Putin said earlier, in the hard times he had never given up the consistent policy towards supporting the Ukrainian people and providing real and not eventual support," said Peskov. "Due to the critical energy situation, Putin took a decision on such supplies regardless the absence of pre-payment, which is the condition of making them."

Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Kozak told Rossiya 24 TV that Moscow will supply 500,000 tons of coal to Ukraine per month, and perhaps as much as 1 million tons per month if further agreements are made, "in order to help it solve energy problems." He said that Ukraine had requested the arrangement after Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko ordered the Energy Ministry to discuss the supply issue with Russia.

Kozak "expressed hope" that Russia’s decision will help ensure reliable energy supplies to Crimea, said TASS. On Dec. 26, Ukraine again cut power supplies to Crimea without any notification.

Meanwhile, Poroshenko also announced that Ukraine will buy coal "from state-run enterprises, including those that produce coal in territories we do not control," meaning the coal mines in the Donbass, according to TASS. The speaker of the People’s Council of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic (D.P.R.) Andrei Purgin praised the potential sale of coal as a useful first step. "So far, it is too early to speak about trade in coal between Kiev and Donetsk. There are a lot of issues to be settled. We have always said we are ready to sit down at a negotiating table with Kiev on economic matters. Warfare, politics and market are different things. We are ready to look at economic cooperation with Kiev. Today’s statement by Poroshenko is the first step towards economic cooperation between Kiev and Donetsk," he told the Donetsk news agency.