As a result of the blockade of coal delivery to enterprises providing energy and heat people are facing hardship. This was stated by Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman during a meeting of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine chaired by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko that was summoned to address energy security issues on Thursday.
"The activities that led to stoppage of railroad transportation services to heat providers have become the source of a serious problem we are facing today and made people suffer. On the one hand, it goes about heat supply in cities that use coal for heating and generating heat. On the other hand, it is one-third of overall electric power generated from such [anthracite – ed.] coal", stressed Volodymyr Groysman.
Yesterday, the Government took the decision to introduce temporary emergency measures in the process of energy system management in order to avoid any serious negative consequences and to minimize any problems with electricity and heat supplies, said the Prime Minister.
Today, Vice Prime Minister / Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities of Ukraine Hennadii Zubko will hold an extraordinary meeting of the State Commission for Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergencies to coordinate the work with local authorities in order to maintain energy security due to the fact that the Government introduced emergency measures on the energy market of the country, accentuated the Prime Minister.
"Currently relevant ministries and services engage in work with the regions to implement these decisions. Plus, today in the afternoon there is due a Staff meeting [chaired by Vice Prime Minister Hennadii Zubko] to ensure cooperation with local authorities on energy security issues and heat supplies", added Volodymyr Groysman.
He focused on the negative consequences of blocking the supply of coal to the national economy.
"The actions have caused as well the stoppage of delivery of necessary raw materials to steel workers. This means that we encounter a problem of undermining the national economy", said Volodymyr Groysman, adding that the steel sector employs about 300 thousand people.
Our current energy system is rather stable, due to intensive preparation of the Government to the passage of the heating season, highlighted the Prime Minister. "But we understand that when necessary coal supplies stop, and we use such coal in the amount of 24 million tons and 9 million tons of anthracite coal, the system cannot endure long in such situation. Therefore, we will have to take each possible decision to compensate for the lack of this coal," he said.
The Prime Minister also stressed on the need to concentrate on the fight against smuggling "to prevent any cases of transporting banned goods not only by rail but also by road". In this direction required increased coordination among customs, border services and all those working on the demarcation line, he urged.
According to Volodymyr Groysman, it is necessary to strengthen synergy between responsible services to prevent the blockade of coal deliveries in the future and to mitigate negative consequences of such actions on the state. This issue should be considered in the legal plane.
The Prime Minister also stands for the strengthening of accountability of those who engages in the blockade.
"We are a democratic country, we respect the rights of everyone to peaceful protest. But I strongly oppose the use of absolutely illegal actions as ways to demonstrate such protest", accentuated the Head of Government.