According to the National Statistical Committee of Belarus, in just one year Belarus turned into a major exporter of coal: compared to 2017, in 2018, total exports of hard coal increased from 164.9 thousand tons to 853.9 thousand tons, and those of anthracite from 0.3 to 107.3 thousand tons. All this despite the fact that there are no deposits of these minerals in Belarus.
Thus, in 2018, exports of coal to Ukraine amounted to 588.5 thousand tons, which is almost 981 times more than in 2017 (only 0.6 thousand tons). Total amount of minerals exported to Ukraine amounted to $ 50.3 million. Another 265.4 thousand tons of coal went into the EU.
Last year, the export of anthracite to Ukraine amounted to 102.2 thousand tons (for $ 8.8 million), which is almost 340.5 times more than in 2017 (0.3 thousand tons).
It was the Belarusian service of “Radio Liberty” that noted the paradoxical figures. At the same time, there is no Belarusian coal in the Ukrainian statistics. According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, in 2018, Ukrainian companies purchased coal in the EU, Africa and America, as well as in only three CIS countries — Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Russia.
The Ministry of Energy of Belarus told Radio Liberty that they do not work with coal, since the ministry “has no coal stations and no coal-fired facilities”.
- In May 2017, the then leader of the LNR grouping, Igor Plotnitsky, said in an interview with Izvestia that the self-proclaimed republic was negotiating coal supplies with Belarus. Almost immediately, in an interview with journalists, the then Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Uladzimir Syamashka denied information about the purchase of coal by the LNR.
- In the meantime, Viktor Tkachenko, head of the department of production and future development of the coal industry of the Ministry of Fuel, Energy and Coal Industry of the LNR, stated in an interview with Belsat in 2017: “Undoubtedly, Belarus buys coal from us. However, at the moment, the LNR does not have financial relations with the Belarusian state structures. We are at the negotiation stage with the official Minsk, the final decision is only being made. But private firms from Belarus have already repeatedly purchased lots of products in the LNR: coal, anthracite. ”
- In October 2017, the Polish edition of Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported that anthracite enters Poland through Donbass-controlled territories through Poland using counterfeit certificates. Profit at the same time goes into the pocket of the head of the militants Igor Plotnitsky. Doncoaltrade, registered in Katowice in 2012, exported coal to Poland. Its chairman and main shareholder is Aleksandr Melnichuk, the former deputy minister of energy and the coal industry of Luhansk separatists, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna stated. The Polish authorities then confirmed the facts stated in the media, but assured that all measures would be taken to stop the illegal supply.