During a working trip to Donetsk region on August 30, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal visited the Toretska mine of the SE Toretskvugillya. The Head of Government was accompanied by acting Minister of Energy Olha Buslavets and the head of the Donetsk Regional State Administration, head of the regional military-civil administration Pavlo Kyrylenko.
The PM stressed that the coal industry is the basis of the economy of many industries: energy, metallurgy, chemical industry. And it is also of significant social importance for monocities currently numbering more than 60 in Ukraine.
”A separate issue is the fair transformation of coal regions. These are the situations when production is completed and mines are closed. We cannot keep it real. The question is: how will the monocities exist, how will the mines operatione, how will the people and communities that depend on these enterprises live,” Denys Shmyhal said.
The Prime Minister added that the Government had consulted with international partners on this issue: "This was discussed both during the talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and during the conversation with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. We explained this problem. Our partners have similar experience, relevant projects, and they ready to provide funding, specialists, experts. We have a long road ahead of us. It is of significant importance and it will take years to transform the coal regions. This is our strategy."
The Head of Government also stressed that today there are no wage arrears to miners, and that the Government is committed to fulfill the obligations of the state.
"In March of this year, we met with the miners together with the President, who promised the industry to pay all wage arrears. And the Government is fulfilling its promise to the mine workers," the PM stressed.
At the same time, Denys Shmyhal added that today the issue of current accounts payable and receivable and debt for electricity remains unresolved: "Here the issue is more complicated and each company must address this issue individually. We know the total amount is over UAH 29 billion. The Cabinet of Ministers will work with businesses and miners' unions to address the problems that have accumulated in recent years. "
In turn, acting Minister of Energy Olha Buslavets added that only in August, due to the joint work of the Ministry and the Government, a sum worth UAH 600 million was allocated to the PJSC Centrenergo for all mines.
"This enables the company to repay arrears in wages and electricity and bring mines out of decline. In the future, we will work to ensure stable operation of all coal mines," Olha Buslavets underscored.