KIEV, April 25 Ukrainian energy firm DTEK, owned
by multi-billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, said on Friday it might cut
energy supplies to consumers in Crimea, annexed by Russia last
month, due to unpaid debts mainly by big companies.
DTEK, which operates the Crimean energy distribution company
Krymenergo, said the debts amounted to $60 million.
A "critical situation" was threatening the electricity
supply to the whole peninsula and could lead to "involuntary
blackouts" which could affect everyone, including household
consumers, it said in a statement.
Crimea is still consumes Ukrainian energy despite the
virtual absence of economic relations between the peninsula and
The company said Crimean consumers had to pay in Ukrainian
national currency hryvnia while current Crimean leaders have
urged the population and companies to switch to Russian roubles
as soon as possible.
Parts of Crimea faced blackouts in late March, which the
local power company said were technical problems but which
underlined the region's vulnerability.
Moscow has said it plans to end Crimea's reliance on Ukraine
for electricity by helping to build gas-fired power stations and
possibly linking the region to Russia's grid.
(Reporting By Pavel Polityuk, editing by David Evans)