Ukraine will buy one million tonnes of coal from South Africa because the military conflict in its Donbass region has disrupted domestic coal production, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday.
Pro-Russian separatists are battling Kiev's forces in eastern Ukraine, which is home to much of the country's heavy industry and coal mines and accounts for about 18 percent of the economy's output.
"They (the rebels) bombed our main coal mines ... and so the government has already signed an agreement on the supply of one million tonnes of coal from South Africa," Yatseniuk told a televised cabinet session.
"The first vessel is loading now," he added.
Reporting by Pavel Polityuk