"The permit was signed by deputy energy minister Ulyda. He was sacked during today's cabinet meeting, a decree on the issue will be published soon," Semerak told journalists after the government session.
The minister did not disclose the name of the company, saying only that it was a "private firm".
According to Semerak, it will now be up to Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan to decide whether to honor the previously issued permits. "The Minister of Fuel and Energy is entitled to make decisions regarding documents that come out of Ministry," Semerak noted.
On November 15, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko issued a decree ordering the country's energy ministry to consider buying electricity from Russia in order to save Ukrainian resources. The decision was expected to be made within one week. Three days later Prodan said that the Ukrainian Energy Ministry was studying this issue, but had not yet made a final decision. Earlier this week, however, Ukrainian media reported that on November 14 Deputy Energy Minister Ulyda had already signed a document allowing Ukraine's electricity provider Energoset to purchase up to 1,500 megawatt of Russian electricity from November 15.