Russia is selling Ukrainian coal, mined in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces and mixed with coal mined in Russia, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin at a briefing on the Lviv Security Forum. In this way, coal mined in the Donbas can end up in Turkey and even Poland, UNN reports.
“We have information that Russia is manipulating coal from the occupied territories [of Ukraine], which they mix with Russian coal, so that we cannot simply detect it chemically, and then it goes to Turkey,” Klimkin observed.
He added that an investigation into the matter is currently underway. “Incidentally, we have reason to suspect that this kind of coal has gone to Poland,” he continued.
On January 26, the US expanded its list of physical and legal entities in Russia and the Russia-occupied Ukrainian territories which are affected by sanctions. The list included 12 “officials” from the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) who had been involved in trading stolen Ukrainian coal.
The most scandalous person on the list was former DPR Minister of Revenue and Duties Alexander “Tashkent” Timofeev (who left for Russia after the assassination of DPR ringleader Alexander Zakharchenko). In an interview, Timofeev boasted that the DPR is supposedly trading with China, Italy, Spain and France.
The sanction list also includes former LPR Deputy Minister of Fuel and Energy Alexander Melnichuk, who organized the scheme to send coal from the occupied Donbas territories to the EU through the company DonCoalTrade, registered in Katowice, Poland.
In February, the Information Resistance group reported that Ukrainian coal mined illegally in the Donbas could also be sent to Turkey through the sea ports of Russia-occupied Abkhazia