By keeping in place an energy blockade of Crimea, Ukraine is weakening the Russian authorities in Crimea, Ilmi Umerov, Mejlis Deputy Chairman said an interview with Radio Freedom.

“In a situation when Russia and Ukraine are at war, Ukraine’s task lies in weakening the opponent/aggressor. Ukraine needs to make Russia pay more for delivering electricity to Crimea. This is confirmed by the fact that the Crimean government and Crimea’s Energy Ministry are very unhappy about Krymenergo, an organization responsible for supplying electricity to Crimea,” he said.

According to Umerov, the occupation authorities are paying a high price for providing electricity to Crimea, while Russia’s promises of filing lawsuits against Ukraine over the damage suffered due to the blackout are nothing but the Kremlin's wishful thinking.

“By spending more money, the aggressor is getting weaker. I think that is exactly what Ukraine is trying to do,” Umerov said commenting on the blockade’s original goal.

Umerov stressed that the Ukrainian government supports the energy blockade.

“Ukraine’s Energy Ministry has not signed a power supply contract with Russia. Currently, Ukraine is not delivering electricity to Crimea. It is all being generated in Crimea, with some of it coming from Russia’s Krasnodar region,” he said.

On May 12, Ilmi Umerov was taken to an FSS branch in Simferopol. Mejlis First Deputy Chairman Nariman Jelyal and Emil Kurbedinov, Ilmi Umerov’s lawyer, followed Umerov immediately.

After being taken to the FSS branch, Ilmi Umerov was made to give a written pledge not to leave Crimea, following which an FSS investigator sent detectives to Bakhchisarai to search Ilmi Umerov’s  house.

After looking into a procedural decision submitted by the FSS’s investigative department, Crimea’s Prosecutor's Office charged Ilmi Umerov with making public appeals and actions aimed at ‘changing the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation’.