Media: Polish firm sells coal from separatist-held areas of Donbas to Italy and Austria
The Polish company TD Anthracite, which imports coal from the Donbas, supplies its coal not only to Warsaw but also to other EU countries. This has been reported by the Polish publication Gazeta Prawna. "Coal was exported to at least five other EU countries, including Austria and Italy," said the publication.
A statement from the official website of the Austrian company Carbones, which is linked to the TD Anthracite, is provided as evidence. "We offer Ukrainian anthracite from our permanent storage facilities in Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Austria," the newspaper cites in an excerpt from this report. At the same time, the article explains that the Ukrainian anthracite can only be from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) or the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), since separatists took control over all operating mines that extract that kind of coal back in 2014.
The publication specifies that Carbones and TD Anthracite increased their turnover by 125% between 2013 and 2015, sending 6,500 tons of Ukrainian anthracite to Poland. TD Anthracite has denied that they trade Donbas coal.
Gazeta Prawna reported on November 5 that anthracite from territory of the LPR was being supplied to Poland. The coal was imported by the company Doncoaltrade, which has been registered in the Polish city of Katowice since 2012. Its Chairman and main shareholder, according to the publication, is Alexander Melnychuk, the former Vice-Minister of Energy of the LPR. Later, Polish Energy Minister Krzysztof Thuzhevsky admitted that a batch of coal was delivered to the country from the Donbas territory.
Ukrainian coal is generally sourced from the coalmines of the Donbas. However, because of the conflict in the country, Kyiv no longer has access to these resources. In June, the Ukrainian government extended extraordinary measures for a month, imposed because of the coal deficit in the country. The deficit is connected with a blockade of coal supplies from the Donbas that began in February. The United States began exporting coal to Ukraine on August 22.