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MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Energy terrorism against Crimea has prompted the need to expedite the construction of an electric power linkup with the Black Sea peninsula, which has managed to become a full-fledged Russian region despite difficulties, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.
"The situation in Crimea, which can be rightly called energy terrorism, required emergency measures," the prime minister said while delivering a report on the government’s work in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament.
"The criminals who before the very beginning of winter blew up electricity transmission lines threatened the lives and health of many people. Hospitals, schools and kindergartens were left without heating and light," the Russian premier said.
According to Medvedev, the Russian government instantly brought "additional mobile power generators to Crimea, formed fuel stocks and helped all socially significant facilities switch to backup power supply sources."
"We’re building an ‘energy bridge’ across the Kerch Strait to insulate people against such situations," the premier said.
Also, the Russian government will continue building kindergartens, schools and hospitals in Crimea like in other Russian regions, Medvedev said.
The premier said he had deliberately decided against devoting a special part in his report to Crimea compared to what he had done for the two consecutive years.
"I didn’t do this as the Crimean peninsula has become a normal region of the Russian Federation. This is our land and our care whatever anyone may say," the Russian premier said.
The Crimean authorities held a referendum on March 16, 2014 on local residents’ attitude to Crimea’s reunification with Russia. With a record turnout of over 80%, 96.7% of Crimean residents and 95.6% of electors living in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol voted for the Black Sea peninsula’s reintegration into Russia.
The treaty on integrating the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into Russia was approved by both houses of the Russian parliament, after which President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law on incorporating two new constituent entities into the Russian Federation.
Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia, despite the referendum’s convincing results.
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 in a voluntaristic act. Crimea remained part of independent Ukraine after the USSR collapsed in 1991.