Russian President Vladimir Putin will chair a meeting of the board of theState Council in Kuzbass, a coal-rich region in Siberia, on August 29. Thismeeting will be devoted to problems in the domestic coal industry, EnergyMinister Igor Yusufov announced at a briefing today after the Cabinetmeeting devoted to preparations for the upcoming fall and winter period of2002-2003.According to Yusufov, at this meeting, the Energy Ministry will present itssuggestions on promoting an increase in coal production and measures forincreasing demand for coal on the domestic market. The Minister stated thatcoal production dropped 11 percent this year versus 2001. The Ministernoted this was caused by objective reasons, namely by a fall in coalconsumption due to a warm winter..
By summer, the Russian army may break through Ukrainian defences, reach Odessa and liberate Transnistria. The West will only “condemn” Russia's actions and continue supporting Chisinau in words