Lovochkin: Underfunding of Ukraine’s Coal Sector Results in Energy Crisis
Critical situation with energy resources in Ukraine in recent weeks has resulted from poorly planed policies of the government with respect to the national mining sector. This was stated by OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE MP Serhiy Lovochkin commenting on the decline of coal industry production in 2020 by 13.8 percent.
“The nation is on the verge of energy crisis. The State Statistics Service announces a decrease in supply stock for all fuel types, Urkenerho says the stocks of coal at Ukrainian cogeneration plants have dropped critically low. And the Cabinet does not react to the situation although it’s their fault,” the politician said.
He cited the data that as of the end of 2020, the coal sector decreased by 13.8 percent.
“This is where we have to look for the reasons behind the crisis. It cannot be explained with forced halt due to lockdowns because the anti-epidemic restrictions never included mining enterprises. The explanation lies in a different direction: it comes from the miners who had been trying to get their salaries from the Cabinet during entire year,” the MP believes.
Lovochkin reminded that a year ago, the administration ruled to pay wage arrears to coal industry workers after being pressured by the OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE. But in the following months the payments again stopped, which resulted in wage arrears to coal miners reaching 738.8mln hryvnia as of Dec. 1, 2020. In November alone, the figure grew by 42.2 percent.
“As of today, the debts to coal miners’ are next to a quarter of the wage arrears amount for the industry. The Cabinet itself has created a crisis in energy sector and will now have to solve it urgently by buying expensive coal from other countries. In the meantime, the crisis could be avoided if the coal industry were funded properly by the government. Our parliamentary faction will insist on paying Ukrainian miners what they have earned. We monitor this matter as the most urgent one,” the MP said.