MOSCOW, September 20 - RAPSI. Siberian Coal Energy Company, a major producer of thermal coal, was fined $15.46 million, and Russian Coal was fined $2.10 million for taking part in a cartel agreement, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) reported on Monday.

Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK) is Russia's major producer of thermal coal. The company produced 89.1 million tons and sold 29.1 million tons in 2010.

Russian Coal was established in 2002. In 2010 it produced about 8.7 million tons of coal.

The antimonopoly watchdog, FAS, reported in late 2010 that it discovered a price fixing scheme in which SUEK, Russian Coal, Stroyservice and many other companies were participating.

The service alleges that the proceeds obtained through price fixing exceeded $3.18 million, with SUEK's share reaching almost $160,000.

The companies' lawyers said that the service's conclusions do not reflect the actual situation. They insist that there is no evidence that any anti-monopoly laws were violated.

A criminal case against the companies was launched in early 2011.