The Ukrainian government on Wednesday approved the introduction of a state of emergency in the country's energy sector due to the blockade of coal supplies from Donbass.

In late December 2016, the so-called Ukrainian volunteer fighters group declared a trade and economic blockade of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR). The breakaway Donbass regions used to supply anthracite coal for producing heat and energy in Ukraine.


Comment: Apparently there is a two-week strike by far-right protesters who have blocked a rail line between coal-producing eastern regions and the rest of Ukraine.


Ukrainian Energy Minister Ihor Nasalyk said that the state of emergency in the energy sector introduced by the Ukrainian government on Wednesday due to the blockade of coal supplies from Donbass will continue for not more than two months.

"Today's decision was adopted for a month and could be extended for another month, making it a total of two months and not longer," Nasalyk said.

Nasalyk said Monday that the country's reserves of coal for energy-generating power plants may be depleted in up to 45 days if the blockade is not lifted.


Comment: Energy Minister Ihor Nasalyk called on all residents and industries to immediately try to save electricity. He warned that conservation efforts may not be enough, saying the government "will implement rolling blackouts" if the energy savings are insufficient.


Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said earlier on Wednesday that he had asked the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council discuss all aspects and the impact of the blockade on the lives of Ukrainian citizens and take relevant measures.

Ukrainian Energy Minister Ihor Nasalyk said Monday that the country's reserves of coal for energy-generating power plants may be depleted in up to 45 days if the blockade is not lifted.