05:03 GMT07 April 2020
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    The speaker of the Russian lower house of parliament, Valentina Matvienko, called the Crimean energy blockade "a terrorist act".

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia is devising retaliatory measures if Ukraine does not restore electricity in Russia’s Crimea, the speaker of the Russian lower house of parliament, Valentina Matvienko, said Wednesday.

    Up to 2.5 million Crimeans were left without electricity over the weekend when explosions downed several transmission towers in southern Ukraine, according to Russia's Emergencies Ministry.

    "If Ukraine does not restore Crimea’s power supply, we will be forced to respond with adequate measures. Such measures are being developed," Matvienko told reporters.

    The senior lawmaker said the influence of radical nationalist factions on Ukrainian leadership reminded her of a "rudderless ship," citing the lack of search operations for the culprits and no repair works underway.

    "This is not provocation, this is a terrorist act," she stressed.

    A state of emergency has been declared in the Black Sea peninsula following the blackout, switching to local emergency power generators.

    Supporters of the Crimean energy blockade are continuing to prevent police and repair crew access to the damaged electrical facilities.


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    energy blockade, Valentina Matvienko, Crimea, Ukraine, Russia
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