Ukraine may halt water supplies to occupied Donbas over debts – energy minister

Water supplies to the territories of Donbas beyond the Ukrainian government control may be terminated, Ukraine`s Energy and Coal Industry Minister Ihor Nasalyk told journalists following a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.

This move may be taken due to the fact that these territories are in arrears in payments to the Ukrainian water utility services, as well as due to the halt of anthracite coal supplies to the stations providing water utility services to the regions.

”The issue regarding water is urgent now, as water utility service receives no payments. One of the questions to be raised in Minsk today, among other things, is that we cannot supply coal of anthracite group to Luhanka [TPP], because have no delivery routes other than those from uncontrolled territories or from Russia. And after that, we must shut down the water utility company,” the minister said.

Earlier, Ukraine shut down all power supplies to the occupied area of Luhansk region on April 25.

Earlier, the Cabinet adopted resolution No. 263, which obliged the regional energy company Lugansk Energy Association to supply electricity to the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk region regardless of the level of payment. At the same time, the company repeatedly reported to the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry and other state agencies that large debts had accumulated on the part of consumers from the ATO zone.

In December 2016, due to debts, the company temporarily halted power supplies to KP Popasnyanskiy Vodokanal, which supplied water to the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, temporarily uncontrolled by the Ukrainian authorities. As of December 2, the debt of the enterprise to Lugansk Energy Association was estimated at about UAH 124 million.

On April 20, CEO of Lugansk Energy Association Volodymyr Gritsai claimed that the power supplies to the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk region would be completely halted starting April 25.

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