Question: Vladimir Vladimirovich, we heard that you have paid a lot of attention to the power supply problem in Moscow. Could you tell us about this in more detail?
Vladimir Putin: Last night there was an accident at an EES substation near Moscow. The measures taken by EES specialists did not make it possible to avoid cascade power cuts to consumers. This happened partially in Moscow, partially in the Tula Oblast, partially in Kaluga. Urgent measures are currently being taken to restore the power supply in full.
I must say that those who were charged with taking measures in accordance with existing plans to transfer consumers to alternative power supplies worked efficiently. There were no operation faults in administration and functioning of state bodies and troops . The main institutions of the public health service, at any rate the federal ones, are functioning. Some of them have also been transferred to reserve power supplies. The problem is being solved by city, municipal, and federal authorities, , including the Defence Ministry.
According to the preliminary estimate of EES, approximately another four hours will be required to switch the most important objects to a regular power supply. On the whole, according to their estimates, 6–8 hours will be required to liquidate the accident.
As for the reasons for the accident, according to preliminary information, they are of a technological nature. I think we can say that there is insufficient attention by EES to the company’s on-going operations. Not only problems involving global policies in energy and reforming the company need attention, but day-to-day operational work does as well.
I think that the problem is not of just worn-out equipment – although this is also a factor, as at the substation where the accident took place, the main equipment dates back from 1962 – but of the low competence of those who should have maintained and repaired everything that required repairs.
I would like to thank all Moscow city services which reacted efficiently to the events, and in contact with federal power bodies focused their efforts on the people who found themselves in a difficult situation when electricity was cut off.
I hope that in the near future, in the time frame that I have set, the problem will be solved.