Vadym Chernysh, the Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories of the Donbas, said in an interview with Hromadske radio that Ukraine supplies electricity to the occupied territories of the Donbas in exchange for coal.
"Yes, it continues. Both in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The situation in the Luhansk regions is complicated again. Technically, the Luhansk thermal power plant located almost at the contact line is supplying electricity to the uncontrolled territory. However, coal for this plant is delivered from uncontrolled territories. Thus, we are doomed to this exchange. But there, this electricity is consumed not only by the population but also by companies paying taxes that are registered in accordance with Ukrainian legislation,” Chernysh said.
He mentioned the Alchevsk Metallurgical Plant as an example, which consumes electricity and has to pay the energy market for it. "Part of the system is partially controlled from the uncontrolled territories: Horlivka. And these people are still working for Ukrenergo and still executing technical tasks mandated by Kyiv: to supply power, to cut power. We should find a mechanism which would ensure a balance of power flow." According to Chernysh, most companies were re-registered in the territory controlled by Ukraine and are thus taxpayers.
The DPR said that Ukraine will not get on without their coal. "We are trading with Ukraine,” said Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the current head of state and Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed DPR. “It’s Poroshenko’s sore subject, but Ukraine will not survive without our coal. Now they have about two million tons of reserves and they need 3.5 million. Now they have no time to do it physically, they have means and opportunities but logistics will not allow for it."