On Thursday January 14, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held his first press conference in 2016.
The President said that Ukraine was ready to supply electricity to Crimea only if the peninsula would be recognized as a part of Ukraine in the contract, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to the press service of the Presidential Administration.
“We are ready to supply electricity to Ukrainian Crimea. If you want – take it. Otherwise, we will wait for the return of the Ukrainian sovereignty to Crimea,” – Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
“It is not a blockade. It is a format of commercial contract. We will never recognize the annexation of Crimea, just like the whole world,” – Petro Poroshenko noted.
The President also said that this issue had been discussed within the Normandy format. Petro Poroshenko stressed that he does everything possible not to complicate the lives of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea.
It should be recalled that Russia decided not to buy electricity from Ukraine for Crimea in 2016 and not to prolong the contract on the electricity supply from Russia to Ukraine. According to the poll, conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTSIOM) in the annexed peninsula, 93.1% of the population voted against contracting with Kyiv as long as it stated that Crimea is a part of Ukraine.
President Poroshenko said that Russia used this poll as an excuse for not entering into a contract on supplying of electricity in a cross-flow mode as it worked for decades.
“We believe that such actions are a continuation of economic expansion [of Russia into Ukraine] and the economic aggression against Ukraine”, – said the President, noting that such a reaction from the Russian Federation was predictable. So Ukraine has prepared for it, having increased production of electricity at the nuclear power stations, which allowed avoiding rolling blackouts in Ukrainian power grid.
The President also said that ensuring peace and returning Donbas to Ukraine is the main priority for the country in 2016.