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    Power supply situation in Crimea

    Is Kiev Using Russia-Turkey Tensions to Trouble Crimea?

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    Hoping that Moscow’s attention is distracted by a political stand-off with Turkey, the Ukrainian government arranged the blackout of Crimea. However, by doing this Kiev might not only cause a humanitarian crisis in Crimea, but also risks losing the delivery of gas and coal from Russia, journalist Max Tucker wrote.

    A senior Ukrainian government representatives said Ukraine isn't doing much to repair the damaged pylons because Kiev hopes to squeeze out concessions from Russia, while Moscow's involved in a conflict with Turkey after its Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber on Tuesday.

    "The Ukrainian government appears to be trying to make Crimea an expensive burden for Moscow," Tucker wrote for Politico.

    Furthermore, the Ukrainian government fears that if Crimea falls off of the current international agenda, after a certain amount of time the West would recognize the peninsula as a part of Russia, the author said.

    The government in Kiev told Brussels that it was under pressure from nationalist groups, who blew up the power lines. Although Kiev said the blockade was illegal, the government did nothing to prevent it. On the contrary, Ukrainian police at checkpoints to the power lines and nationalists seemed to have worked in tandem. Moreover, Ukrainian nationalists threatened to disrupt power to Crimea and have already made several attempts to damage the power lines in the past. Despite this, the Ukrainian government did nothing to secure the electric lines to Crimea, Tucker said.

    Earlier this week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Moscow could respond to the Crimean blackout by halting coal deliveries to Ukraine.

    Last week, some 2.5 million Crimeans were left without electricity after the electric power lines were blown up in southern Ukraine.

    Following the blackout, Crimea declared a state of emergency and switched to locally-based emergency power generation.

    Since then the Russian Emergencies Ministry sent electricity generators to the peninsula.    

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    Tags:
    electricity blackout, coal, gas, Alexander Novak, Crimea, Ukraine, Russia
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