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Activists Block Crimea Power Line Relaunch

A general view shows the facilities of a mobile gas turbine generator, which was turned on due to recent power outages after pylons carrying electricity were blown up, in the settlement of Stroganovka, Simferopol district of Crimea.

Activists have prevented Ukrainian repair crews from relaunching one of the four power lines supplying Crimea with electricity from the mainland, despite Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stating earlier that Kiev would allow power flows to resume, Russian and Ukrainian media reported Monday.

Members of the far-right paramilitary Right Sector group blocked the first attempt at re-activating the Kakhovskaya-Titan line on Sunday night, the RIA Ukraine news agency and news site wrote the following morning.

Poroshenko had earlier stated that Kiev would “soon” relaunch one of the four lines blown up by unknown perpetrators on Nov. 20 and 21, RIA wrote in a separate report, referring to a statement by Poroshenko.

“I think that emergency supplies via one of the lines will resume very shortly,” the Ukrainian president was quoted as saying.

According to the RIA report, he added that consultations with Crimean Tatars were underway.

Late on Sunday, Ukrainian deputy Igor Lutsenko wrote a Facebook post saying that local activists were likely unaware of Kiev's change of course.

ХОРОШІ НОВИНИ З КРИМУОтже, по ситуації з нібито домовленістю частково відновити поставки електроенергії у Крим до окупа...

Crimean authorities remained distrustful of the Ukrainian government's intentions, the Russian news agency Federal Press wrote Monday.

“Crimeans don't trust that the authorities in Kiev are honest, [as] they have aided and abetted radicals … who commit acts of terror, such as the destruction of the power lines to Crimea. No one will trust a country unable to ensure that international treaties are being adhered to,” Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Ruslan Balbek said, Federal Press reported.

Russia restored power supplies to Crimea via undersea cable on Dec. 2, ending the 11-day blackout, the RIA Novosti news agency reported the following day.

However, the power supply capacity to the peninsula did not exceed 200 megawatts. According to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, a further 200 megawatts was set to be supplied by Dec. 20, covering up to 90 percent of the peninsula’s power needs, the report went on to say.

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