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Poroshenko Says No More Power For Crimea Until Rejoins Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine is prepared to restore electricity to Crimea after more than a month of severe outages, but only if the peninsula annexed by Russia rejoins Ukraine.

"We are ready to supply electricity to Crimea that is Ukrainian. You can have it if you want. If not, we'll wait until Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea is restored," he said on January 14 at his annual press conference.

Russia has refused to go along with Ukraine's conditions for renewing a contract that expired on January 1 to provide Crimea with electricity.

Poroshenko said Ukraine is prepared to "assure supplies of electricity," but the contract must stipulate that Crimea is an "autonomous republic" of Ukraine.

He insisted that Kyiv is doing what it can to "prevent more complications in the lives" of Crimeans, but pointed out that Crimean leaders themselves had declined to renew the power contract.

Residents of the peninsula have been experiencing chronic power shortages since the main lines carrying power from Ukraine were blown up on November 22.

A partial restoration of electricity during December came to a complete halt after another attack on the power facilities on December 30.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL and TASS