Europe may recommend Ukraine to buy coal from Russia as well as improve relations with Moscow in the light of the disruption in anthracite coal supplies and introduction of emergency measures in the energy sector, the chairman of the Russian lower house of the parliament’s international affairs committee said Friday.
Commenting on the stance that Europe might take with regard to the issue, Leonid Slutsky said in the interview to the Rossiya 24 television channel, “Probably, Europe will propose buying coal from Russia, improving relations with Russia.”
Slutsky added that the present situation was very complicated in terms of logistics, as some sections of freight railroad links are blocked, but the political situation was even more difficult.
The possibility that the European Council would move toward reviewing the undue anti-Russia sanctions in the near future should not be ruled out, Slutsky stressed.
Ukrainian government is likely to consider Russian arguments when they start negotiations on the issue of coal purchase as Kiev will be forced into the talks by the economic situation, Slutsky noted.
The disruption in coal supplies resulted from the January move by a group of former participants of Ukraine’s military operation in Donbas, including Ukrainian lawmakers, who blocked on some sections of freight railroad links with areas in Donbas not controlled by Kiev.