Donetsk, Oct 23 – DAN. Ukraine's authorities are going to purchase and import US coal at inadequate prices at the expense of Ukrainian citizens in a new corruption scheme, according to a DPR MP, head of budget, finance and economic policy committee Marina Zheinova.

"Coal supplies from the US are an obvious corruption scheme of Ukraine's authorities. Kiev pays double prices for forwarding services to import US coal. The latest unload resulted in a catastrophe and damage incurred by Odessa marine port as it is not designed to accept such cargo. The repair costs will be paid by Ukrainian customers," she said.

Ukrainian citizens have long become hostages of 'big politics' and corruption. For instance, US coal price for Ukraine tripled in March 2017 y-o-y and surpassed 200 USD per ton, while Norway purchases US coal at around 125 USD per ton. The market price of Donbass coal, based on open sources information, stands at 50 USD.

Zheinova said Ukraine has not overcome the deficit of bituminous coal and anthracite, after supplies from Donbass had been interrupted by the Kiev-imposed blockade.

"During summer periods it can be neglected, but as winter is coming, the issue remains pending. By Blocking off Donbass they have made the country dependent on foreign suppliers and having to pay tripled prices," the expert says.

The new round of economic blockade of Donbass started in January 2017. Former participants of the offensive blocked railroad between Gorskoye and Zolotoye (LPR territory). The radicals said the aim was to interrupt trade with LPR. Later they blocked Svetlanovo station in vicinity of Pervomaisk, the railroad tracks in the area of occupied Artyemovsk (DPR) and Yasinovataya-Skotovataya stretch.

Ukrainian Rada extremists supported the “trade blockade”, while radicals said the drive shall be permanent.

On 16 December, Ukraine National Security and Defence Council Secretary Alexander Turchinov called for tougher economic blockade against the Donbass Republics. Turchinov, a key figure behind Donbass bloodbath, believes that the ban on movements of goods and cargoes to LPR and DPR will enable Kiev to faster “liberate” the territories it does not control.
On November 15 2014, Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko signed the decree halting the payment of pensions and allowances in the conflict zone.*ot