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Kiev wants Russia to regard power transmission towers blast as force majeure — minister

November 23, 2015, 18:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee voiced surprise over the photographs of damaged pylons adorned with Ukrainian flags
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Mobile gas turbine power plant working to provide electricity in Stroganovka village outside Simferopol, Crimea

Mobile gas turbine power plant working to provide electricity in Stroganovka village outside Simferopol, Crimea

© AP Photo/Alexander Polegenko

KIEV, November 23 /TASS/. Ukraine’s Energy Ministry hopes that Russia will regard the blowing up of power transmission towers in Ukraine’s Kherson region as force majeure and will not charge penalties, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Vladimir Demchishin told a briefing on Monday.

"I think it’s going to be force majeure. Let us wait and see what kind of decision will be made," Demchishin stressed.

He admitted that the supports of electric power lines, including those running to Crimea, had been blown up in Ukraine’s Kherson region, and that his ministry did not have access to the damaged structures to repair them.

Russian official says power line blasts are Kiev's "final gesture of farewell" to Crimea

According to the chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, last weekend’s explosions in Ukraine that damaged pylons of high-voltage power lines bringing electricity to Crimea indicate that Kiev no longer regards the peninsula as its territory to any extent.

He pointed out it was not accidental that Ukraine has continued the chain of latest terrorist attacks and disrupted power supply to Crimea, which until recently it had regarded as its territory.

"Apparently, it no longer thinks so starting from this very moment. These explosions have shattered the latest illusions of those who may have still doubted whether Crimea made the right choice. It was not an invitation to return. It was a gesture of final farewell with Crimea," Kosachyov said.

He voiced surprise over the photographs of damaged pylons adorned with Ukrainian flags.

"When so many people were killed in Paris, many posted pictures of the French flag in the social networks as tokens of solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attack. For the first time ever I’ve seen state flags displayed as tokens of solidarity with terrorists," Kosachyov said.

He hopes that such actions will eventually help "Crimea, Ukraine and all of us" to take a sober look at the situation.

Crimea left without energy 

Crimea was left without energy on the night to November 22 after the supports of power lines leading to the peninsula had been blown up.

All major cities in Crimea are receiving energy. But the lack of locally generated power on the peninsula may cause rolling power and water cuts to households. All socially important facilities have been connected to reserve power supply sources.

Crimea’s needs in electric energy are met by 30%; all socially important facilities are operating normally, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told journalists.

"The situation in Crimea is difficult but not critical," Kozak said. "Locally generated electric energy meets the peninsula’s needs by 30%; all socially important facilities, the airport and transport infrastructure are operating normally," the deputy prime minister said.

He added that the Russian authorities would step up the construction of a power transmission line via the Kerch Strait.

"The problem of energy supplies to Crimea will become less acute by mid-December. The government is considering a possibility to step up the construction of an energy bridge (from mainland Russia to the peninsula)," Kozak stressed.

According to him, all life-sustaining facilities in Crimea will work to full capacity in 2016 though rolling power cuts will be possible in houses and apartment buildings.

The energy bridge to Crimea project provides for the construction of a power transmission line from the Rostov nuclear power plant in southern Russia to Crimea’s capital Simferopol with one of its sections running through the bottom of the Kerch Strait. Its transmission capacity is to reach 300 MW at the start of 2016.

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