Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov: Mr President, may I ask you an unusual question? We have received a request from residents of Genichesk, Genichesky District, Kherson Region in Ukraine. People are asking if natural gas could be supplied from Crimea to their city and district. The situation there is close to a humanitarian disaster; last year’s crisis is happening again when people were left without heat, without gas in the depth of the winter.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: You supplied gas there, didn’t you?
Sergei Aksyonov: The task was fulfilled as per your instructions then – we supplied heat and gas to this district of Ukraine. The situation is similarly critical now.
During last year’s supplies, a debt amounting to 18 million rubles to Chernomorneftegaz emerged. The debt is still outstanding, but as the situation is critical there, Mr President, we ask for your permission to resume supplies. I report it for your decision.
Vladimir Putin: We need to work out some financial discipline in our relations with our neighbours, this is obvious. Nevertheless, we need to help, so please do everything you did last year.
Sergei Aksyonov: I will. Do we have your permission to begin supplies?
Vladimir Putin: Yes. And I know that Chernomorneftegaz is about to complete its work to connect to Russia’s main gas pipelines.
Sergei Aksyonov: Affirmative.
Vladimir Putin: We will get back to this issue once again in the nearest future.
Sergei Aksyonov: Yes.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, and good luck.