President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko has demanded that in a half a year or two years the country's coal-mining industry will be ready for privatization, Ivan Plachkov, Ukrainian Minister on Fuel and Energy informed. In his words, all mines are to be split into three groups: economically inexpedient, breakeven and profitable. Privatization issues are to be settled for each group separately. He also said that Yushchenko insisted on self-sufficiency of coal mining industry of Ukraine, RBC reported.   

According to Plachkov’s words, at this point Ukraine possesses some 400 state-owned coal-mining enterprises. This said, this year the industry will be allotted around $700 million of investment from the state budget.

As for possible candidates for coal minister, Plachkov observed that Viktor Topolov, Ukraine's senior deputy Minister on Fuel and Energy, was likely to take the post.

As reported yesterday, Yushchenko signed the decree on restructuring Ukraine's fuel and energy ministry, and establishing a separate coal ministry.

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