MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Russia will refrain from prolonging the agreement on purchases of electric power from Ukraine, Kommersant Daily said in a report on Tuesday quoting well-informed sources at the Russian Ministry of Energy.
"Russia isn’t conducting any talks on supplies of electric power from Ukraine," the source said. "We won’t prolong it [the agreement] as it was tied to an agreement on the supplies of Ukrainian electricity to Crimea."
In 2014, Ukraine purchased electric power from the Russian energy system under an agreement between the companies Inter RAO and Ukrinterenergo that was effective through to the end of 2015. Simultaneously, the two sides signed an agreement on the purchases of power from Ukraine for Russia’s Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.
However, supplies of Ukrainian electricity to Crimea stopped on November 22, 2015, when Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and radical factions of the ethnic Crimean Tatars siding with the government in Kiev demolished the pylons of all the four high-voltage transmission lines leading to the Crimean Peninsula and thus knocked them out of operation.
Ukraine partly resumed the transmissions to Crimea in December 2015 but the Russian authorities did not sign an agreement on supplies in 2016 in the wake of Kiev’s demand to specify Crimea as a Ukrainian territory in it.
The All-Russia Public Opinions Research Center (VCIOM) said 93.1% residents of Crimea and Sevastopol spoke against the signing of a new agreement with Kiev on purchasing Ukrainian electricity if it indicated both constituent regions of Russia as parts of Ukraine.
The press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy and Coalmines said earlier Ukraine stopped importing Russian electricity as of the beginning of last October. A source also told Kommersant the Ukrainian authorities did not say anything about a need for imports in 2016.
On the face of it, experts familiar with the situation told Kommersant the two countries kept in effect an agreement on synchronized operations of the Russian and Ukrainian power grids, under which the cross-border flows of electricity in emergency situations are paid for.