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Heating Cut Off at Defense Ministry Facilities Over Unpaid Bills

Heating has been cut off at several Defense Ministry buildings in Kamchatka over a 46.5 million-ruble ($1.5 million) debt owed by the property management company to the region's main energy supplier, the company said in a statement on its website on Monday.

The debt, outstanding since January, prompted Kamchatskenergo to discontinue the supply of heating to the ministry's administrative buildings, the officer's quarters, a garage, and the office of the Tikhookeanskaya Vakhta newspaper, the statement said.

The company does not plan to cut off heating at the military units.

Kamchatskenergo cut off energy supply to the same buildings in March but later agreed to restructure the debt, Interfax reported on Monday.

The company Maintenance and Repair Management, responsible for the heat supply to the ministry's facilities, was supposed to pay the first installment on March 15 and said it would pay off the full debt by the end of April.

But Kamchatskenergo said the debt remains unpaid and continues to grow.

In 2012, energy suppliers in different regions threatened to turn off heating at Defense Ministry facilities over debt, Lenta.ru reported on Monday.

In February, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against the Maintenance and Repair Management company on the charge of abuse of office for allegedly buying fuel at higher prices and failing to pay the power companies.

The charge carries a maximum punishment of four years in prison.

The management company's CEO and his two deputies were fired over the scandal shortly afterward.

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