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As Ukraine’s coal production drops, Belarusian coal exports shoot up.8 March 2019
Some of that lost production has shifted into the hands of the separatist territories in the Donbas, the Kyiv Post reports.
Meanwhile, Ukraine must now import nearly $3 billion worth of coal a year, much of it from Russia.
Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov has accused Russia of extracting about half a million tons of coal monthly from the Donbas and selling some of it on to European Union countries, the Post says.
Ukraine may also be buying coal indirectly from the Donbas via Belarus.
Belarus exported almost 1,000 times more coal to Ukraine last year than the minimal amount recorded in 2017 even though, as the Ministry of Energy told the Belarusian service of RFE/RL, the country “has no coal stations and no coal-fired facilities,” Belsat reports.
Indications are that this coal was mined in separatist controlled Donbas, exported to Belarus, then sold back to Ukraine proper.
In 2017, senior figures in the self-proclaimed Luhansk republic told Belsat they were negotiating coal exports to Belarus.
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