Victor Yushchenko has sent a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych with a request to introduce faster reforms in Ukraine’s coal industry and formulate a plan to develop the sector, according to the President`s press-office. He also insists that the government improve mechanisms of the compulsory sale of property.

The President said recently passed amendments to the law on solvency or bankruptcy of debtors stipulate that a moratorium to initiate cases on bankruptcy of coal companies in which the government owns more than 25% of shares will be extended until January 1, 2010.

“Artificially maintained low profitability of such companies can have a negative impact on the whole industry. The government invests much money in the sector every year but it is never enough,” he said.

Mr. Yushchenko said low profitability of the companies affects how they are renewed and equipped. Over 96% of  coal mines in Ukraine have not been reconstructed for twenty years, he said.  However, cancellation of the moratorium can result in closures of coal mines, which will consequently spark off social tensions and environmental problems in regions where they are located, he said.