Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Russia supplies electricity to E Ukraine following blackout

Russia is supplying power to the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine after Kiev cut off electricity in the insurgent territory, a Russian official said Tuesday.

"The Russian government has decided to supply power as part of its humanitarian assistance," Russian Representative to the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine Boris Gryzlov told the Interfax news agency.

The Ukrainian energy authority suspended power to Luhansk in the wee hours of Tuesday, citing the failure of local residents to pay their electricity bills.

Gryzlov said the payment default was caused by Kiev's deliberate economic blockade of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine, which are seeking independence and suffering from years of violent conflicts.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday criticized the blackout, calling it "another step toward alienating territories from Ukraine."

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