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Kremlin: no information from Kiev yet on resumption of Crimea electricity supply

November 23, 2015, 14:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The repair teams of Ukraine’s Ukrenergo power utility have not been able to start work so far to restore the damaged sections of electricity transmission lines running from Ukraine to Crimea

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Local residents in a household appliances store during a blackout in Crimea

Local residents in a household appliances store during a blackout in Crimea

© Alexei Pavlishak/TASS

TEHRAN, November 23. /TASS/. Russia has not received any information from the Ukrainian side on the time of resuming electric power supply to Crimea, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday.

"We do not have any information on what measures are being taken and when there will be the result and when the electricity supply will be restored," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Over 1.6 mln people remain without electricity in Crimea

Uncertainty persists in Crimea over the timeframe of restoring electric power supply after all the four Ukrainian power transmission lines were damaged in a subversive explosion.

Russia’s Energy Ministry has reported that 1.66 million people remained without electricity in Crimea as of 08:00 a.m. Moscow time (05:00 GMT) on Monday. Social facilities on the Black Sea peninsula are connected to backup power generators. Crimea generates only 366 MW of electricity, including 232 MW generated by mobile power plants.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said electric power supply in Crimea will be restored within several hours.

"Electric power supply in Crimea will be restored within several hours after repair teams are admitted to restoration works and complete them," the minister said.

However, the repair teams of Ukraine’s Ukrenergo power utility have not been able to start work so far to restore the damaged sections of electricity transmission lines running from Ukraine to Crimea due to disturbances in the emergency area.

Ukrenergo spokesman Zinovy Butsyo could not specify when the repair work would start.

Crimean authorities believe that the Black Sea peninsula’s electric power blockade has been organized by Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada deputies Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov, and also former Crimean Vice-Premier, owner of ATR TV Channel Lenur Islyamov. They officially stated earlier about their intention to cut Crimea off electricity supply. They are assisted by the supporters of the Right Sector extremist movement banned in Russia.

The blast that damaged electricity transmission lines in Ukraine has prompted an emergency reduction of power generation capacities at Ukrainian electric power plants. Ukrenergo First Deputy CEO Yuri Kasich said that "two power units were switched off at the Pridneprovsk and Uglogrosk thermal power plants, and also the Zaporozhye and South Ukraine nuclear power plants reduced their capacity by 500 MW."

The Crimean authorities have imposed an emergency regime on the peninsula. Large cities in Crimea have been connected to backup power generators. However, the Crimean authorities have introduced rolling blackout schedules over the shortage of electricity generated on the peninsula. Ukrainian electricity supplies meet 70% of Crimea’s electric power needs. The Black Sea peninsula is currently 880 MW short of electricity.

Crimea is expected to get rid of its "energy dependence" on Ukraine by the autumn of next year after Russia builds and puts into operation two stages of a power link between the southern Krasnodar Region and the Black Sea peninsula.

Kiev has not commented on the situation with subversive acts carried out at the sites of power transmission lines and has assumed a wait-and-see position.

As Kiev has not officially responded to the subversive acts in the Kherson region, local authorities feel at a loss. All state institutions have either switched off their phones or are refusing to give any information. The Kherson Region branch of the State Emergencies Service has said literally the following: "We don’t know anything. Police is controlling everything there. So what do you want from us?"

In reply to a remark that it is the duty of the State Emergencies Service to eliminate the consequences of an emergency situation, the on-duty officer was outraged and cried out that nothing could be done until "those activists are there.".

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