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SIMFEROPOL, March 24, /ITAR-TASS/. The cutting down of electric power supply to Crimea from the continental part of Ukraine is Kiev's attempt at blackmailing the Russian Federation (RF), Crimea's First Vice-Premier Rustam Temirgaliyev told CrimeaInform.
"The reduction in the supply of power is an attempt by Kiev to blackmail the RF through Crimea in order to bargain something out for itself," he said.
Temirgaliyev described such step by Ukraine as a "folly".
"This is accounted for by people's folly. I cannot explain this in any other way. We have no debts. There are no grounds for cutoffs. They simply seek to 'discipline' us, so to say," the First Vice-Premier pointed out.
Temirgaliyev said earlier that Ukraine had cut down the amount of electric power being supplied to Crimea by 50 percent.
According to him, the Republic is linked with Ukraine by three high-voltage power transmission lines (LEP-330). "The Ukrainian supplier company UkrEnergo has halved the amount of electric power being supplied via these LEP lines. The Peninsula currently receives 50 percent of the planned amount of electric power," he explained.
Following the power cutdown, the Crimea Power Systems" Company, in accordance with the rules of procedure, carried out a routine rolling cutoffs in the supply of electricity to facilities on the Peninsula. "A routine systemic rolling cutting-off of power is currently under way depending on the amount of electric power being supplied. At present, about 30 percent of Crimea is de-energized," the First Vice-Premier said. "This is not yet the limit to the drop of power supply. If the remaining 50 percent of the amount is cut off, the situation will be still more complex".
Temirgaliyev said Crimea had been ready for such a version of the development of events. "Crimea was prepared for such a turn of events. We were aware of what we were up to. There will be economizing in power consumption. However, it is for certain that we shall not have a disaster, a crisis or collapse,"Temirgaliyev said.
He added that by lowering the supply of electricity Kiev has used its last way to influence people in Crimea.
"The guys in Kiev have totally lost adequacy and resorted to such methods with regard to Crimean people. However, apart from cutting off electricity supply they lack any other way to influence us. The Crimeans will only grow stronger. At worst, we shall switch over to an hourly supply of electricity acccording to a special time-table. We shall resolve the bulk of the problem within one month and a half," Temirgaliyev said.
At the same time,Temirgaliyev believes, this step by Kiev will hit Ukraine. "This step can only boomerang against Kiev. One should not forget that Ukraine has incurred huge debts to Russia and that the price of gas has not been settled. All this may have a painful effect on Kiev," the First Vice-Premier emphasized. "Neither should one forget that Ukraine's entire South-East will disapprove such actions of Kiev and that this may result in a boost to sentiments that are mounting there".