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Coal from Russian-controlled Ukrainian territory sold to Turkey

At least $14.3 million worth of coal extracted from Russian-held territories in Ukraine has been exported to NATO member Turkey this year, Reuters reported referring to Russian customs data.

Some 160,400 tonnes of coal from the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk arrived in Turkey between February and July 2023. Three producers confirmed to Reuters that they supplied coal from those regions to Turkey within the mentioned period.

Unlike the United States and the European Union, Turkey has not restricted trade with Russia or Moscow-controlled areas of Ukraine. According to statistics, Turkey accounted for 95 per cent of coal shipments from the seized regions.

The Turkish Trade Ministry and Customs Department did not comment on the situation.

Turkey is the largest consumer and importer of coal. Today, the country is increasing the share of coal in electricity generation. In the first half of this year, 31.5 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity was produced from the imported coal, which is a quarter more than in the same period in 2022.

The Russian-established authorities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as the Ukrainian government, did not comment on coal exports.

The Russian Energy Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. Russia’s Federal Customs Service claimed it had suspended the publication of foreign trade statistics from February 2022.

Three days before the war in Ukraine broke out, the United States imposed sanctions banning imports or exports of goods from the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Two days later, the European Union also announced a ban on imports of goods coming from the two regions.

There are no such restrictions in Turkey. The United States has imposed sanctions against companies, including from Turkey, which it says support Moscow in its war against Ukraine.

However, Turkey did not impose such restrictions. The United States sanctioned companies, including Turkish ones, which allegedly support Moscow in its war against Ukraine.

We abhor any attempts by Russia to profit from the theft of Ukraine’s natural resources. Ukraine’s natural resources belong to the people of Ukraine.

Reuters reported in April that a Chinese company had purchased copper from a plant located in the Russian-controlled region of Ukraine.

According to the customs service, from February to July, Brig Management LTD shipped to Turkey 49,000 tonnes of coal worth 4.8m dollars and extracted from the territories lost by Ukraine. Over the same period, Green Rabbit LTD shipped 11,800 tonnes of coal worth $1.1 million.

Reuters did not manage to find contact information for Brig Management LTD. A request submitted to the Belize Registry of Companies and Corporate Affairs was rejected because “information can only be requested by a licensed registered agent or the owners of the company.”

Reuters also visited the address of Green Rabbit Ltd listed in the Hong Kong registry – a commercial building that houses several businesses – but found no trace of the company.

A coal producer in Russian-controlled Donetsk, businessman Denis Karashchuk, confirmed that some of his company’s production had been shipped to Turkey.

Coal is bought in the port of Novorossiisk. And what happens next is, let’s say, already their [the buyers’] business.

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