Russia wants money from Ukraine for electricity from Ukrainian power plant

Russia wants to cut off Ukraine’s electricity supply to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant if Kyiv does not pay for the electricity produced there. This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Marat Chusnullin on Thursday. If Kyiv does not meet Russian demands, the power plant occupied by the Russian army will no longer produce electricity for Ukraine, Chusnullin said. Instead, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant would only produce electricity “for Russia”.

The Ukrainian nuclear authority Energoatom said on Thursday morning that the nuclear power plant would continue to supply Ukraine with electricity. A spokesman also doubted that Russia would be able to redirect the energy to itself. “It takes time and money. It’s like building a bridge in Crimea.”

He also assumes that the Russians will not be able to cut off electricity supplies in parts of Ukraine that are not under Russian control, the spokesman said. “All the necessary facilities are under Ukrainian control.”

Moscow controls power plant site in Zaporizhia

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is near the city of Eherhodar, which is occupied by Russian troops. It is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Last year, the Zaporizhia power plant accounted for 20 percent of Ukraine’s electricity production. At the beginning of March, the Russian armed forces took control of the power plant site, which is located dozens of kilometers south of the regional capital Zaporizhia on the Dnipro River. Zaporizhia is under Ukrainian control.

The most recent statements from Moscow are consistent with indications from other Russian officials in recent weeks that Russia is preparing a permanent occupation or even annexation of the areas it controls in southern Ukraine. In addition to the self-proclaimed “people’s republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk, these include the Cherson regions and a large part of the Zaporizhia region.