Home / World / Ukraine News Today Feb. 15, 2017: Government introduces emergency state in energy system; Prime Minister urges activists to stop coal blockade; Red Cross delivers humanitarian aid to Donetsk region

Ukraine News Today Feb. 15, 2017: Government introduces emergency state in energy system; Prime Minister urges activists to stop coal blockade; Red Cross delivers humanitarian aid to Donetsk region

Ukraine News Today: Government introduces emergency state in energy system, rolling blackouts possible; Prime Minister urges activists to stop coal blockade; Red Cross delivers 239 tons of the humanitarian aid to the militant-controlled territory of the Donetsk region
Ukraine News Today Feb. 15, 2017: Government introduces emergency state in energy system; Prime Minister urges activists to stop coal blockade; Red Cross delivers humanitarian aid to Donetsk region

Ukraine Cabinet introduces emergency state in energy system due to coal blockade

The decision was made at an extraordinary meeting of the government Wednesday

Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine imposed emergency measures in the state energy system of the country due to the lack of shortage of the anthracite coal at the thermal power stations.

A unanimous decision was taken during the extraordinary meeting of the government held on Wednesday, Joinfo.com reports with reference to 112 Ukraine TV channel.

The emergency state can cause rolling blackouts in many regions of Ukraine. The shortage of coal is a result of the blockade of the railway at the contact line between the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government and separatists-controlled parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The activists behind the blockade demand to stop cargo smuggling.

Earlier, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman addressed the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) concerning Donbas blockade conducted by activists.

PM Groysman said that further blocking of railway cargo traffic to and from the uncontrolled territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions will lead to a crisis in the energy and metallurgical sectors, and called on the activists to unblock the railroad traffic of the crucial goods.

“Certain Ukrainians have been trying to thwart the heating season and to initiate rolling blackouts with their own hands. This is inadmissible; we should make a distinction between a crackdown on contraband and a fight against the Ukrainian people,” he said in the opening remarks at a governmental meeting.

The supply of these commodities is vital for metallurgy, which employs 300,000 people and provides a substantial portion of the country’s exports and hard currency earnings, he said.

“The Avdiyivka Coking Plant shut down once because of a Russian attack. It can shut down again because it lacks raw materials,” the prime minister said.

Ukraine generates over 30% of its electricity using coal, and some cities, such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Cherkasy and Chernihiv, are highly dependent on coal as a heating agent.

“Anthracite coal is mined in the territory which is temporarily beyond our control. It will take three to five years and annual investments of at least UAH 15 billion to conduct modernization, to stop using that coal, and to shift to the use of gas extracted in the territory we control,” the prime minister said.

The government is diversifying the supply of energy resources, but this will take time, he said.

Red Cross sends 240 tons of food to residents of Donetsk region

Red Cross sends almost 240 tons of food to Donetsk region, according to Ukraine’s State Border Service, Joinfo.com reports.
Fourteen trucks of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) have passed through the Novotroyitske checkpoint in the Volnovakha district of the Donetsk region into the territory uncontrolled by the Ukrainian government.

The convoy will deliver nearly 239 tons of food to residents of the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian State Border Service said on Wednesday morning.