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Third Line of Energy Bridge to Crimea Completed, Ukraine Is Furious

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

28th February, 2016


Pravda

Today in Crimea, ahead of schedule, the third line of the power bridge from the power systems and nuclear power plants in Krasnodar Krai to Crimea was completed. According to the schedule the connection should have been completed later on, but the President of Russia issued the instruction “to try to speed up the completion” of the second, and now third energy line ahead of time. This event caused a storm of emotion on social networks.

“The head of the Kerch RES, Aleksandr Zabelin, told Crimeans that from 5am on 28th February to 10 p.m. on 29th February the Peninsula will see electricity shortages due to work on the connection of a third energy line of the bridge from Russia”,- reported the mass media.

“At the moment we are conducting test connections and “operational” connections on the third line of the power bridge to Crimea; new capacity comes from the Russian Peninsula uninterrupted, the mains are operating normally,” said the Department of Energy to  Politonline.ru.

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“We expect the fourth section to be connected, the last line, and then Crimea will be fully electrically independent and, moreover, they will be able to offer electricity. Here is a little secret – the connection will occur sooner than planned. After that there will be no more power blackouts in Crimea, finally,” added the agency.

A phrase that could describe the stormy debate could be: “Angry Ukrainians, happy Crimeans”. Short and clear, perfectly reflecting the obvious divergence of opinion.

Former assistant of General director of “Moscow’s Komsomolets”, actually a Ukrainian propagandist Aider Muzhdabaev, also didn’t stay away from the debate on this sharply important question, who believes that the independence of Crimea from Ukraine in terms of power supply is another “victory for Petro Poroshenko over the Russian President Vladimir Putin”: the Ukrainian President, it appears, “forced Russia to accept a very disadvantageous decision to refuse supply of electricity from Ukraine to Crimea”.

In fact, guaranteeing the Peninsula’s electricity supply from mainland Russia was in preparation for a long time. Currently, however, the Russian energy sector refuses to buy Ukrainian electricity for Crimea after Kiev linked the supply of electricity with the obligatory acknowledgement of “Crimea is Ukraine” in the contract. Accordingly, the Russian side did not extend the contract on electricity supplies from Russia to Ukraine itself.

In Crimea, an urgent telephone survey was conducted, which found that 94% of respondents agreed to endure power outages, but would not be called again (albeit in a commercial contract) a part of Ukraine.

As a reminder, as was reported by Pravda, the power system of Crimea was working in stand-alone mode for nearly two weeks when, in the night of November 22nd, unknown persons blew up the transmission pylons that first led to the halving of the energy supply to Crimea from Ukraine, and then the power supply stopped altogether. A state of emergency was introduced in Crimea and Sevastopol, along with a schedule for emergency outages.

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