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Polish Miners Block Cheap Coal Imports from Russia

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Miners in Poland protesting against imports of cheap Russian coal have blocked a border route into northern Poland, according to mining union leaders. More than 200 workers blocked the passage in order to protest against imports of Russian coal.

Polish mines are having difficulty competing with the cheaper product from Russia.Poland’s giant coal fields produced 76.5 million tonnes in 2013 and the fossil fuel supplies around 90% of Poland’s overall power needs.

It exported 10.6 million tonnes in 2013, but it also imported 10.8 million tonnes from Russia and the Czech Republic in the same year. Because of a combination of relatively high production and labour costs, Polish coal is more expensive than coal from neighbouring producers.

According to the miners’ union, the state imports 80% of the coal for which it tenders, as the exporters use ‘dumping’ prices.