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Crimean self-defence units prevent act of sabotage on gas pipeline

March 15, 2014, 22:28 updated at: March 15, 2014, 22:45 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

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SIMFEROPOL, March 15,  /ITAR-TASS/. Crimean self-defence units prevented an act of sabotage on a gas pipeline on Saturday, March 15.

Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said the saboteurs had identified themselves as Ukrainian Border Guard Service officials.

“Crimean self-defence personnel prevented an attempt to block the gas pipeline to Crimea at the Arbatsky Spit. To prevent such attempts [in the future], the gas distribution station was put under protection. The persons who tried to damage the equipment - up to 40 people, according to preliminary information - and who identified themselves as Ukrainian Border Guard Service officials left the station in a hurry,” Aksyonov said.

He asked Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Alexander Vitko to take the gas transportation system in this area under protection “in order to ensure energy security of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and uninterrupted operation of crucial facilities.”

Crimea has also created a month’s worth of water reserves and is installing diesel generators in case the Ukrainian authorities cut off electricity supplies to the peninsula.

“There are about 900 diesel generators in the autonomy. With the consumption of 300 to 500 tonnes of diesel fuel a day, we can have enough mobile generators to cover the entire peninsula,” Aksyonov said.

He admitted, though, that “there may be some problems with electricity supplies for two or three days [if Ukraine cuts off electricity to Crimea], but we have all the sites ready, equipment is here and is being installed,” the prime minister said.

He expressed hope that “common sense will prevail among the Ukrainian authorities.”

Aksyonov also said that Crimea had desalination plants. “And we also have water reserves to last for a month or a month and a half. This time will allow us to solve certain issues,” he said.

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