It appears as though Moscow will end a contract with Kiev that ensures the delivery of electricity to the Crimea. Having illegally annexed the peninsula in early 2014, Russia insists that Ukraine remove any language from the contact that stipulates that the Crimea is part of Ukrainian territory. Kiev is determined not to give in.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov asserted that if Ukraine does not agree to change the wording, Russia is most likely to abandon the contract. "It can be assumed with a great degree of certainty that the president [Putin] will opt not to sign a contract on such terms," Peskov said.
In order to support the Kremlin’s decision, Putin commissioned the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), a state-owned polling company, to hold a survey to determine whether the residents of the peninsula supported the Ukrainian version of the contract. According to the official results, more than 90% of Crimeans do not support the language in the contract suggesting that the peninsula is part of Ukrainian territory. The conditions and legitimacy of the survey, however, remain dubious.
One thing is clear, if Moscow does indeed end the contract with Kiev, the hardships endured by the inhabitants of the Crimean Peninsula since early 2014 will continue to mount.