KIEV: Russia has agreed on a deal to supply coal and electricity to Ukraine, which is struggling with a lack of raw fuel for power plants due to separatist conflict in the industrial east.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Peskov said Russia will supply coal and electricity to Kiev without advance payment as a goodwill gesture from President Vladimir Putin.
Peskov said Putin made a decision to start these supplies due to the critical situation with energy supplies and despite a lack of prepayment.
Dmitry said Russia plans to supply 500,000 tonnes of coal to Ukraine per month. It is ready to supply another 500,000 tonnes per month if an additional agreement is reached, he added.
Ukraine’s coal reserves stand at 1.5 million tonnes compared with normal winter stocks of 4 to 5 million tonnes.
Kiev said it would suspend train and bus services to Crimea, effectively creating a transportation blockade to and from the region annexed by Moscow in March this year. Kiev has briefly cut off electricity to Crimea before.
The country used to be self sufficient in electricity, but months of fighting pro Russian uprising has disrupted coal supplies to thermal power plants, which had generated around 40 percent of its power.