In October 2017, about 236,000 tons of coal were exported from the separatist-controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and sent from Russia to Europe, which is about 13.5% or 28,000 tons more than in September of this year (about 208,000 tons), as reported by LIGA.net, citing data from RZD Holdings (Russian Railways) and the FCS (Russian Federal Customs Service).
According to the report, in October, 73% of all coal, or 172,900 tons, belonged to four Russian companies: Gas Alliance, Petroleum Capital (both controlled by Serhiy Kurchenko), TH Antratsit, and Russian anthracite.
"Since July, a number of large companies (in particular, Gas Alliance) that deal with the export of coal from the separatist-held areas of the Donbas do not file reports on such deliveries to the Russian customs authorities. As a result, it is difficult to trace the flow of coal along the uncontrolled Ukrainian border with Russia," the publication says.
According to the Federal Customs Service, all deliveries are from the exporter company, Russian state-owned RZD-Logistics, which provides logistics services for the export of smuggled coal.
Russian traders continue to register most of the export supplies of such contraband coal through offshore companies without specifying the country of destination.
The price of contraband coal at Russian ports or the Brest-Central railway station in October was between $50 and $100 per ton, depending on the type of anthracite. The same coal on the uncontrolled border of Russia and the separatist-controlled territories of the Donbas costs between 25 and 60 dollars per ton, according to the Federal Customs Service.