In 2017, Ukraine imported over 19 million tons of coal, most of which came to the country from Russia, reported Lb.ua news agency with reference to the data of Ukraine's State Fiscal Service.
It is noted that Ukraine paid more than $2.7 billion for coal. Russian coal imports in 2017 cost $1.5 billion or 56.57% of the total supply, followed by US supplies worth $682 million or 24.85%, and Canadian coal worth $182 million or 6.64%. Other countries have also delivered coal to Ukraine, all worth $327 million or 11.94% of the import total.
On the other hand, Ukraine has also exported $57.4 million worth of coal to Russia, $41.5 million worth to Slovakia, and $2.5 million worth to Turkey. Other countries have also bought $3.9 million worth of Ukrainian coal. By comparison, in 2016, Ukraine imported coal for $1.4 billion, while exports amounted to $44.7 million.
In early November, Kyiv imposed sanctions on 18 Russian companies "for carrying out activities that may harm the interests of national economic security."
The Yuzhtrans coal company was among those sanctioned. A representative of the South Coal Company group, Yuzhtrans’s parent firm told RBC news agency that anthracite coal sales would be hampered by sanctions. According to him, the difficulties would arise with the redistribution of export supplies as "the southern ports are full of coal from the [self-proclaimed] Luhansk People's Republic and from the Donetsk People's Republic.
Yuzhtrans had been engaged in the supplies of anthracite coal to several Ukrainian enterprises, including Donbasenergo. According to the RBC's interlocutor, the company supplied about 70 to 80 thousand tons of coal to Ukraine that was mined from the Rostov region.