“Freedom from Russia” – Ukraine faces ‘freezing’ crisis as anti-Russia sanctions come to bite


November 13th, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

– by Joaquin Flores – 

Iryna Okhota, 59, in her kitchen. Her apartment on the second floor has almost no heat so this retired engineer has to wear a winter jacket to keep warm.

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KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine risks running out of coal this winter after its US installed leadership has imposed sanctions against the Russian supplier of coal products. This has been a recurring crisis since the conflict in the Ukraine began some three years ago. Ukraine’s population continues to fall, as longevity declines, and able people leave the country looking for basic labor. 

“Kiev imposed sanctions against the largest supplier of anthracite from the Russian Federation. Having imposed a blockade of Donbass and imposing restrictions on deliveries from Russia, Ukraine risks being left without coal in the middle of winter, its acute deficit is already felt today. It seems like we began to heavily sponsor the US coal industry?” according to the Ukrainian activist Viktor Medvedchuk. His statement appeared on the website of his movement, “Ukrainian choice – the right of the people”. They believe that Ukraine should have open and friendly relations with all of its neighbors. They have continually criticized the policies of the Poroshenko regime. 

At issue is that the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine imposed sanctions against 18 Russian companies on October 30th. This is an increase from the last round of similar, and continues to threaten the ability of regular Ukrainians to have access to basic necessities like coal, which is relied upon for winter heating for many citizens. 

The rationale of this new round of sanctions by the US backed puppet government is, apparently; “for actions that could damage the interests of national economic security.” The list of banned enterprises includes companies in the food industry, construction materials and equipment, as well as against the Russian company Yuzhtrans, which supplies the country with anthracite-deficient coal. The director of this enterprise, Andrey Ivankov, said that the sanctions imposed by Ukraine on the Russian coal supplier would have a negative impact on Ukrainian consumers, and the company would find new markets within Russia.

Not all coals are the same. US supplied coal not only comes at a higher cost for a number of reasons including a politically reinforced monopoly on supply, and the expensive cost of transatlantic shipment, but Soviet made and contemporary Ukrainian machines and furnaces are designed for Russian made anthracite-deficient coal, which is unique to the region. 

According to the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, under the conditions of the Donbass blockade, in January through October the country increased its import of coal and anthracite to the value of 1.8 times compared to the same period last year – to $2.151 billion. Russia remains the main supplier (55.7%). The second largest is an American coal firm (25%, or $546.8 million), the third – from Australia (5.4%, or $116.4 million). From other countries, Ukraine imported $289.8 million worth of coal.

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