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Russia says to halt gas supplies to Ukraine, mulling coal cut off over Crimea

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak (C) attends an extraordinary ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Tehran November 21, 2015. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Moscow would cut gas supplies to Ukraine on Tuesday or Wednesday because Kiev had not paid up front for more gas and might also halt coal supplies to Ukraine in retaliation for a power blackout of Crimea. Alexander Novak, in comments to Vesti FM radio station, was speaking as Russian-annexed Crimea continued to rely on emergency generators to meet its basic power needs after unknown saboteurs blew up electricity pylons supplying the peninsula with electricity over the weekend. Pro-Ukrainian activists have so far prevented repairs to the damaged pylons and associated power lines. "Today or tomorrow gas deliveries will be stopped because of lack of advance payment," said Novak, saying Ukraine was in any case using very little Russian gas. […]

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Ukraine Says Will Restore Power to Crimea After Pylons Blown Up

KIEV, Ukraine—Ukraine said Monday it would restore electricity to Russian-annexed Crimea within three days after pylons were blown up, but appeared to make a major concession to activists blocking repair work by imposing a temporary ban on all commercial traffic to the contested region. Pylons supplying electricity to Crimea from southern Ukraine were blown up over the weekend , leaving much of the peninsula without power. While the Ukrainian Interior Ministry still hadn’t identified suspects in the explosions, pro-Ukrainian activists—many of them from the minority Muslim community of Crimean Tatars—continued to block repair works on the pylons Monday. “We are prepared to repair the power lines within 72 hours,” Ukraine’s Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn told the Interfax news agency. “At this time, workers are unable to conduct repair works; explosives have been discovered at those [power] lines.” The activists have staked out the border between mainland Ukraine and Crimea […]

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