In 2016, roughly 1.04 million tons of coal was exported from the Donbas territories which are not controlled by Ukraine into Russia, LIGA.net reports, citing Russian railway data. In 2015, the volume of smuggled exports was somewhat larger – 1.3 million tons.
The mined coal is enriched at Donetsk and Luhansk factories and transported through the border with Russia that is not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. Later on the fuel is exported to European and African countries. Some of the coal exported from the Donbas returns to Ukraine as South African coal for Ukrainian Centrenergo state enterprise.
Russian state authorities process the coal exported from the Donbas as an import from Ukraine.
At the end of 2016, the largest amount of coal was exported from the Donbas by the Moscow based company Petroleum Capital, which the publication calls Serhiy Kurchenko’s firm. In 2016, the company brought 116,800 tons of anthracite into Russia, and already 139,600 tons during the four months of this year. Its founders are Deputy Minister of Energy of the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) Oleksandr Melnychuk and Russian nationals, Valeriy Donskoy and Vyacheslav Druchenko.
Since April 2017, shipments of anthracite into Russia have been done by the firm Vneshtorgservis, which is also connected to Kurchenko. Between April 15 and May 10 this year, Vneshtorgservis shipped roughly 35,000 tons of anthracite. The total volume of illegal shipments for this period was more than 89,000 tons.
In the middle of May 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine introduced licensing of the export of the anthracite type of hard coal, which was intended to make it harder to export.
The resolution was adopted with the goal of “providing balance to the internal market, preventing the uncontrolled export of anthracite coal, and providing anthracite to Ukrainian energy producing enterprises to the fullest extent”.