SIMFEROPOL, November 22. /TASS/. The Crimean peninsula is not experiencing power shortages any longer and for the first time ever is capable of supplying electricity to other regions itself, head of the republic of Crimea Sergey Aksenov wrote on Facebook on Friday.
In November 2014, the power lines in the Kherson region of Ukraine, through which more than 80% of electricity was supplied to the Crimea, were blown up. The peninsula was completely cut from power supply. After the power lines were blown up, the authorities began to work on making Crimea self-sufficient in terms of electricity generation. Two thermal power plants were commissioned, and the energy bridge was laid across the Kerch Strait to solve the energy deficiency problem.
"The whole country helped us. <...> In the shortest possible time, an energy bridge and new power plants were built as well as the existing power generation facilities were upgraded. Today, for the first time in history, Crimea, not only has ceased to be a region experiencing power shortages, but can also supply surplus of electricity outside its territory, if necessary," Aksenov wrote.
According to him, the upgrade of the power grid will be the next important step for the republic.
"In five years, it is necessary to build or upgrade dozens of substations and power lines, to digitalize the power system. I am sure that these tasks will be successfully solved," he said.
After the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Eighty percent of the voting population participated in the referendum. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deal on March 18, 2014, which the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) ratified on March 21, 2014.
Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia. The companies operating in the peninsula or cooperating with Crimean businesses faced sanctions imposed by Western countries. In 2014, Ukraine unilaterally stopped supplying water through the North Crimean Canal. Moreover, the Crimean energy supply from the Ukrainian sources was disrupted, which resulted in 4 billion rubles ($62 million) damages for the peninsula, according to some estimates that were provided by the region’s authorities.
Currently, all these issues are being actively solved. The Crimean Bridge was built to connect the peninsula with continental Russia. The energy bridge across the Kerch Strait and two thermal power station solved the energy deficiency problem. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and a number of scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences set the task to devise methods of supplying water to the peninsula.