Russia to supply coal, electricity to Ukraine
Moscow: Russia will provide 500,000 tons of coal to Ukraine per month, as well as 9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said Saturday.
"500,000 tons of coal would be delivered per month and possibly another 500,000 tons if an additional agreement could be reached soon between the two countries," Kozak told Russia's TV channel Rossiya 24.
Kozak expressed hope that this would help ensure reliable energy supplies to Crimea.
Electricity deliveries to Crimea were temporarily suspended by Kiev Wednesday as the peninsula exceeded the contracted maximum daily consumption limit, Xinhua reported.
Moreover, an agreement on the supply of 9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from Russia to Ukraine has already been implemented, Kozak said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed to start the power supply even if the contract terms are not currently fulfilled.
"Hopefully, the payments will be made in future," RIA Novosti news agency quoted Kozak as saying.
He added that the electricity is delivered to Ukraine at the same prices as in Russia, which are lower than in Ukraine's domestic market.
Ukraine is now suffering the worst energy crisis in a decade as the conflict in the eastern regions has disrupted coal supplies to thermal power plants, which generate around half of the country's electricity.
Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Vladimir Demchishin said at the beginning of December that the country is considering importing electricity and coal from Russia to meet domestic power shortage.