(QHA) -

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic may begin the delivery of coal to Crimea later this week, the republic's Fuel and Energy Minister Alexei Granovsky said Wednesday, Ria Novosti informs.

"Respective agreements have been reached with Crimea. With winter approaching, Prime Minister [Alexander] Zakharchenko ordered not to delay this issue and to start coal deliveries to Crimea this week, before Friday," Granovsky said.

Earlier this week, Crimean Fuel and Energy Minister Sergei Yegorov said coal delivery negotiations with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic were under way. Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov, in turn, instructed authorities to prevent unjustified price increases of coal. According to him, Crimea is ready to allocate money for coal purchase.

The amount and the price of coal to be shipped to Crimea were not disclosed.

Donetsk has been an epicenter of heavy clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists who are seeking secession from Ukraine for 6 months.

To stop the violance in eastern Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko signed a bill giving Donetsk a special status.