SIMFEROPOL, October 15. /TASS/. The work to lay the first cable of the power link between the Krasnodar Territory in south Russia and Crimea along the bed of the Kerch Strait is planned to start on Thursday, Crimean Fuel and Energy Minister Sergei Yegorov said on Thursday.
"The work is planned to start today, unless there is a storm," Yegorov said.
The power cable is 13.8 km long. It will be laid along the bed of the Kerch Strait with the help of special equipment.
"There will be two special vessels - one will have a cable drum while the other will dig a trench along the Strait’s bed. After that, the cable will be laid into this trench," Yegorov said.
Electricity supplies from mainland Russia to Crimea via the cable are expected to start in December this year to minimize the Black Sea peninsula’s dependence on electricity supplied from Ukraine.
Crimea used to be part of Russia from 1784 until 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed it over to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Crimea remained part of independent Ukraine after the USSR collapsed in 1991.
A people’s referendum was held in Crimea on March 16, 2014, in which most people voted for reuniting with Russia. On March 18, 2014, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Crimea’s re-integration into Russia.