Ukraine received its first shipment of anthracite coal from the U.S. Wednesday, part of an $80 billion deal between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
This shipment carried 62,000 tonnes of the total 700,000 tonnes set to be delivered to Ukraine by the end of the year, the Financial Times reports.
“As agreed with President Trump, first American coal has reached Ukraine. It is a significant contribution to our energy security and a vivid proof of mutually beneficial strategic cooperation between our two nations,” Poroshenko wrote in a Facebook post. “While it continues to steal Ukrainian coal from Ukrainian Donbas, Russia has lost yet another tool for its energy blackmailing.”
Ukraine’s Parliament ousted Poroshenko’s Kremlin-backed predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, in 2014. Since then, the country has looked to strengthen ties with Western powers to dilute Russia’s influence, Reuters reports.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry hailed the deal between the U.S. and Ukraine in July.
“In today’s turbulent world, geopolitical turmoil can create uncertainty for nations without access to an abundance of their own natural resources,” Perry said in a statement. “In recent years, Kiev and much of Eastern Europe have been reliant on and beholden to Russia to keep the heat on. That changes now.”
“Partnerships like this are crucial to the path forward to achieve energy dominance,” Perry added.
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