DONETSK, November 6 (RIA Novosti) — Authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine have suspended talks on coal sales to Kiev until all conditions of the agreed ceasefire are fully met, the DPR energy minister said Thursday.
According to Alexey Granovsky, the decision has been made after two teenagers had been killed and four more wounded in artillery shelling of a school in Donetsk by Kiev-led forces.
"They kill our brothers and sisters, our children. While this is going on, there is no way we will sell them coal," Granovsky said.
On Monday, First Deputy Energy Minister of Ukraine Yuri Zyukov announced that Kiev was ready to buy coal from the areas of Donbas controlled by the independence supporters.
Zyukov added that the coal, mined in the Donbas region, is needed for the Ukrainian coal-fired power stations to operate without any interruptions.
Some 2.1 million tons of coal is currently stored at warehouses in Donbas. Zyukov said that buying coal from there would still be cheaper than buying it from abroad. Zyukov explained that in terms of chemical composition, the coals stored in the country’s eastern regions are the best possible option for Ukraine’s energy blocks.
The self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LPR, DPR) were established following the February coup in Kiev, when the eastern Ukrainian regions refused to recognize legitimacy of the new government. Based on the results of the referendums held in May, where a vast majority of voters supported independence, the two republics declared their sovereignty in a move that triggered a violent confrontation between LPR and DPR militia and Kiev-led forces.
Following months of bloodshed, the warring sides signed a ceasefire agreement on September 5.