Russia wants to cut Ukraine off from its Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, occupied by the Russian army, unless Kiev pays Moscow for the electricity produced, indicated a Deputy Prime Minister Marat Jusnulin.
This statement adds to that of other Russian officials in recent weeks, who imply that Russia is preparing a lasting occupation or even an annexation of some areas of southern Ukraine that it controls, the Kherson region and a significant part of the Zaporiyia region
"If Ukraine's energy system is ready to pay, then (the power plant) will be able to work for Ukraine. If it does not accept, then it will work for Russia" Jusnulin declared, during a trip on Wednesday to this nuclear facility, according to Russian agencies.
In 2021, before the Russian offensive against Ukraine launched on February 24, the plant accounted for 20% of Ukraine's annual electricity production and 47% of that produced by the Ukrainian nuclear fleet.
Moscow's forces took control in early March of this power plant located in the southern Ukrainian town of Energodar, separated by the waters of the Dniepr from the Ukrainian-controlled regional capital of Zaporiyia.