The company Gaz-Alliance of the fugitive businessman Sergei Kurchenko was given the status of the only coal supplier from the territories of the Donetsk and the Luhansk oblasts, occupied by Russia, RBK writes.
Vladislav Brig, the so-called "deputy of the People's Council of the DNR", informed RBK that Gaz-Alliance was appointed as the only coal supplier from the occupied territories. Information comes from the leadership of the coal company Rovenkyantratsyt, which operates in occupied Luhansk. The source also said that the export of coal was transferred to structures associated with Kurchenko.
The monopoly on the export of coal from the occupied territories of Donbass to Kurchenko's companies is confirmed by the draft appeal of Russian coal traders who previously also traded Donbass coal.
Traders are unhappy with the new supply scheme and prepared an appeal addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, FSB Chief Alexander Bortnikov, Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika and Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin, the interlocutor of RBK said.
The document states that on March 14, 2018, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia sent a telegram to RZD Logistics, which informed about the ban on exporting coal from the occupied part of Donbass to all companies, except Gaz-Alliance.
The representative of RZD Logistics said that the company did not receive such a telegram. The press service of the ministry answered on RBK’s request that "this issue is not within the scope of the department, we have only an interdepartmental commission that deals with humanitarian assistance".
"This is all done within the framework of Vneshtorgservice's work on enterprises that have been transferred to the state administration", - the "deputy" explained. “Vneshtorgservice took over the management of the enterprises of the “DNR” and “LNR” (metallurgical plants and coal mines, including Donetskstal and enterprises belonging to DTEK's holding of Rinat Akhmetov, Yenakieve, Makiivsky and Alchevsk metallurgical plants, etc.), and Gaz-Alliance is responsible for sales of their products (metal and coal). This is absolutely a humanitarian nonprofit project, we need to understand this", - Brig said.
Traders, registered in the Rostov region and the Crimea, complained of losses due to the idle time of cars with coal. For coal traders, this is "a lot of damage", the former "LNR’s high official" confirmed. According to him, they expect decisions from the "authorities" of pseudo-republics.
The U.S. imposed sanctions against Vneshtorgservice and Gaz-Alliance in January 2018, and sanctions against Kurchenko himself were introduced as early as 2015. According to the Ministry of Finance of the United States, Vneshtorgservice started operating Ukrainian enterprises in the spring of 2017, including coal mines located in the territories of unrecognized republics. Its partner, Gaz-Alliance, helps to export coal to Europe, the U.S. Treasury says.