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Ukraine may cut off electricity to Donetsk Republic, says energy company chief

At midnight on April 25, the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy cut power supplies to the Lugansk People’s Republic

KIEV, April 25. /TASS/. Kiev will consider cutting off electricity supplies to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic after it has completed the construction of an additional electricity transmission line to (Kiev-controlled) Avdeyevka, the head of Ukrenergo national power company said on Tuesday.

"As for the Donetsk region, there has been no decision to cut off supplies, because the issue of Avdeyevka remains unsettled," Vsevolod Kovalchuk said in a video blog posted on Facebook.

Earlier, Ukraine’s deputy minister for the affairs of non-controlled territories Georgy Tuka mentioned a possibility of cutting electricity supply to the DPR.

At midnight on April 25, the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry, as well as the Energorynok state company, cut power supplies to the LPR’s territory. However, the LPR sources said that by 02:00 on April 25, power supplies across the republic were restored using internal resources.

The Lugansk Energy Association announced its plans to cut the LPR off electricity supplies over debts in late March 2016. Since March 2017, the company has been cutting supplies of electricity to budget-dependent organizations, saying their debts have exceeded 500,000 U.S. dollars.

The Kremlin believes that by its move to cut off electricity supplies to the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) Ukraine has made a new step towards rejecting this territory, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"Disconnection of the Lugansk Region from electricity is yet another step on the way for Ukraine to tear away territories from itself," Peskov said.

"This is a step that contradicts the spirit of the Minsk accords, which does not bring us closer to the implementation of these Minsk accords and, on the contrary, puts us farther from the final goal," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Russia was doing and is doing much, proceeding from humanitarian considerations, to minimize negative consequences for residents of Donbass and the LPR of the policy conducted by Ukraine for ‘rejecting its own land,’" the Kremlin spokesman said.

Commenting on Moscow’s decision on the deliveries of electricity to the LPR that had been disconnected from electric power by Kiev, the Kremlin spokesman said that he would be unable to explain in detail how this aid would be provided.

It was reported earlier that Russia’s Energy Ministry had made a decision on supplying electricity to the Lugansk People’s Republic from the territory of Russia after Ukraine had ceased to deliver electric power to that territory.