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 Ukrainian Politics, Economics
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 PM Hroisman: Ukraine to purchase coal from US, Australia or South Africa, pay foreign currency for it

Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Hroisman does not rule out that Ukraine will acquire coal from the U.S., Australia or South Africa.

Ukraine's Premier said on air of ICTV, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrinform.

"We are going to purchase it for foreign currency. It would be either from the United States of America or Australia or South Africa. It's pretty serious," Hroisman said.

He noted that the government headed by Arsenii Yatseniuk's did a great job in its day, while Hroisman's government continued these efforts to make Ukraine independent of the Russian gas.

Read more: With Donbas blockade, Kyiv undermines national unity, - DW Ukrainian desk head Johann

"We haven't used a single drop of Russian gas for more than 500 days. We have chosen a path of domestic gas extraction, and I think that we will increase our own gas production by more than half a billion cubic meters this year. That means that we will have to purchase 500 million [cubic meters] less for foreign currency, and this is precisely our energy independence," the PM stressed.

He also once again commented on the "coal blockade." Hroisman believes that many of those blocking the uncontrolled territories of the Donbas sincerely support Ukraine but their actions have the reverse effect.

Read more: Ukarine's PM again slams Donbas blockade: "This subversive action against Ukraine has a name and a face"

Jan. 25, anti-terrorist operation (ATO) veterans shut down the Luhansk-Popasna haul, launching a trade blockade of the terrorist-held areas in the Donbas.

Feb. 2, participants of the trade blockade barred another railroad track near Bakhmut.

Feb. 16, protesters started to shut down highways.

Feb. 27, separatist websites published a joint statement by the leaders of the so-called "Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics," demanding Kyiv to lift the blockade by March 1. Otherwise, Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky promised to seize control of all Ukrainian enterprises and stop deliveries of coal to Ukraine.

March 1, the "DPR" announced the introduction of "external administration" at the Ukrainian enterprises located in the occupied part of the Donetsk region. As a result, a subsidiary of French company Air Liquide halted its work in occupied Yenakiieve.

March 13, a Donbas blockade checkpoint at the Kryvyi Torets railway crossing was dismantled by law enforcers. The information was confirmed by Samopomich MP Semen Semenchenko. A video footage with the seized weapons of blockade participants was released later.

March 15, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine imposed a temporary ban on the movement of goods across the demarcation line in the Donbas. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the only exception was humanitarian aid supplied by Ukrainian and international organizations.

March 16, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a decree to enact the previously adopted NSDC decision.

France expressed concerns over the move and urged the Ukrainian authorities to take efforts to lift the blockade.
 
 
 
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