Ukraine says it has cut off electricity exports to EU nations Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, for at least a month due to a coal shortage.

The shutoff Monday came as Ukraine's newly-elected President Viktor Yanukovych traveled to Brussels on his first official foreign visit. He is to discuss energy security and other issues with EU leaders.

Ukraine's Fuel and Energy Ministry spokesman Fent Di says the shutoff, which could end by April 1, occured because no Ukrainian firms put in bids to sell the electricity due to a coal shortage in Ukraine. There is no seller of last resort to guarantee export volumes but the amounts represent a small share of the countries' electricity markets.