Separatist republic sells coal to Poland. Ukraine protesting

Antracite from occupied Donbas areas is delivered to Poland through Russia thanks to altered documents, the Polish newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reports.

Profits on its sales go to Igor Plotnitsky, the militant leader of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR).

The coal is delivered from occupied Donbas to Poland by the company Doncoaltrade, which was registered in 2012 in the Polish city of Katowice. Its chairman and main shareholder is Oleksandr Melnychuk, a former ‘deputy minister’ of fuel, energy, and coal industry of the unrecognized LPR.

Melnychuk’s company is reported to have sent coal coming from Luhansk to Russia. The Russian side presented it as coal imported from Ukraine, but Kyiv has voiced a strong protest and called such a scheme ‘smuggling’.

Poland’s Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski confirmed information provided by media outlets and promised his Ukrainian counterpart Igor Nasalyk that the Polish government would take all possible measures to stop illegal shipments.

“During the meeting with the Polish Energy Minister, he promised that a deliberate inspection would be carried out and suchlike coal supplies will be banned. I managed to meet with the journalists whohad published the first part of the investigation into the supply of anthracite from Donbas – not only in Poland but to other European countries as well. Therefore, currently our main task is to block this process to the greatest possible extent. We have officially proved that we consider the purchase of antracite from the East an act of the direct financing of terrorism and our arguments have been heard,” Nasalyk told TV channel 112 Ukraine.