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Russia PM calls energy blockade of Crimea "subversion pursuing terrorist goals"

Ukraine's cutting power supply to Crimea is diversion and the power bridge construction should be expedited, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.

"The region was left without electricity essentially as a result of energy manipulations and acts of Ukraine's authorities. Speaking in legal terms, this is subversion, that is, destruction of industrial facilities, which actually pursues terroristic objectives," Medvedev said.

Such acts left Crimean residents without heat and electricity. "They jeopardized life and health of many people, including social facilities. Therefore there could be no other political assessments," the prime minister said.

Measures are already undertaken to provide Crimea with power. "Acceleration of power bridge construction across the Kerch Strait is probably the most important in this situation," he added.

Crimean Tatars call energy blockade "act of terrorism"

Representatives of Crimean Tatar organizations said on Monday the power line explosions that led to blackout in the peninsula are an "act of terrorism" organized by the official Kiev.

Crimea declared a state of emergency on November 22 after explosions cut off electricity supply from Ukraine. This forced the peninsula to rely on generators. A criminal case has been opened against organizers of the blasts.

"Of course, all this was done at the level of the state. We call it state terrorism," said Remzi Ilyasov, the deputy chairman of Crimea's State Council, who heads the Krym public organization of the Crimean Tatars.

"A group of Crimean Tatars was the perpetrator of this terrorist act. They were perpetrators, not organizers," he said.

Leader of the Crimean Tatar public organization Inkishaf, Eskender Bilyalov, said: "The games that they started playing with Crimea are an act of terrorism." The organizers have not met their goal of spreading panic, he added.

"Our people in Crimea are tolerant, and we have shown this not just once. We have proved that we are united. This time, we will also show and help the head of our republic, the president and the State Council. The attempts to shatter our house will fail," Bilyalov said.

The chairman of the Crimean Tatar public council, Seytumer Nimetullayev, said the energy blockade has done more harm to Ukraine than to Crimea, both morally and economically.

"The Ukrainian people are angered by the actions carried out by them (the Ukrainian leadership), I'm pretty sure of that," he said.

Europe silent on Crimean energy blockade, Russian diplomat says

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Monday that European diplomats remain silent on the Crimean energy blockad.

"I have not heard any single major statement from the European colleagues (except for Germany) voicing serious concerns about the fate of 1.9 million Crimeans who have been left without electricity as a result of actions of extremists," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.

Zakharova reminded that over the past 18 months Western diplomats have been carefully monitoring the human rights situation in Crimea. However, they failed to find "the right definition" to the recent power line explosions in Ukraine's Kherson region.

The diplomat said Europe had better be puzzled over how the policy of the Crimean blockade, which Kiev did not even bother to hamper, meets "the high Western human rights standards."

[Source: Itar Tass, Gorki, 30Nov15]

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