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Ukraine blamed for Crimea blackout, talks underway on restoring power supply — minister

December 24, 2014, 13:16 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
The republic’s head Sergey Aksyonov earlier said Russia signed a contract with Ukraine on electric power transit to Crimea on Monday
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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

SIMFEROPOL, December 24. /TASS/. The whole territory of Crimea has been cut off from power supplies and the republic’s authorities are holding talks with Ukraine on stopping the blackout, Crimea’s Energy Minister Sergey Yegorov told TASS on Wednesday.

“An hour ago, Ukraine unilaterally cut off the Crimean Republic and the city of Sevastopol from electricity supply,” Yegorov said. “Talks are underway with Ukraine that they should restore the power supply to the republic,” he added.

Local authorities are taking steps to ensure electricity supplies on at least half of the Black Sea peninsula and provide citizens with mobile communication services, the minister said.

According to the Crimea Inform news agency, now there is no light in any city of the peninsula, including Simferopol, and the backbone lines have been switched off.

The blackout came as the Crimean parliament was expected to hold its last session this year at 12:00pm Moscow time on Wednesday.

The republic’s head Sergey Aksyonov earlier said Russia signed a contract with Ukraine on electric power transit to Crimea on Monday. “The contract will guarantee uninterrupted electric power supply to Crimea from Ukraine,” Aksyonov said.

He expressed hope that the contract terms would be fulfilled in full. “No power cuts are being planned. Payments to Ukraine are made in full,” Aksyonov said.

At present, the peninsula depends on Ukraine at peak times.

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