Ukraine has no plans to set import quotas for Russian coal in 2014, Ukraine’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade Ihor Prasolov announced to reporters in Moscow on Wednesday, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

"The Ukrainian side does not plan to introduce any quota for the year 2014,” Prasolov said when asked about possible restrictions on import of Russian coal into the country.

It was reported in early December that the Cabinet of Ministers was not planning to set import quotas for coking coal in the period of January-March 2014 because the country’s byproduct coke plants had undertaken to buy a significant proportion of the coal produced at Ukrainian state mines.

However, before that - in November - the Economy Ministry proposed that the practice of setting import quotas for coke should continuing in 2014 but added that the size of the quota should increase to 14 million tons compared with 2013. The draft of the relevant government resolution has been sent to the relevant agencies for approval. The preparation of this document prompted a negative reaction from market participants.

Import of coking coal into Ukraine has been subject to quotas from 1 June 2013, and the size of the quota was originally set at 10.2 million tons. The quotas are allocated in accordance with the recommendations of an interagency commission headed by Deputy Prime Minister Yurii Boiko. This commission should be guided by information about the operations of an importer in the preceding three years (the volume of import of coking coal, the volume of consumption of Ukrainian coal, the volume of production and consumption of coke, and the volume of production of pig iron, including production with the use of the pulverized-coal injection technology).

At the end of September 2013, the Ministry of Energy proposed increasing the 2013 import quota for coking coal by 10% to 11.2 million tons - mainly for cement plants and the Pobuzhsk ferronickel plant - and the ministry drafted the relevant government resolution, which was subsequently adopted.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, 88.68% of the import quota for coking coal and bituminous coal had been exhausted as of December 1, 2013.

Earlier, the Industrial Union of Donbass corporation’s enterprises challenged the government's decision to set import quotas for coal in 2013 in court.