The energy crisis that began in the Russian Far East a week ago continues to deepen. Lack of fuel oil means that local power plants have been operating at considerably reduced capacity, resulting in interruptions in power supplies to various vital installations, including the alarm system on the Russian-Chinese border and an air traffic control center, ITAR-TASS reported on 16 and 17 July. Industrial enterprises, street cars, and trolley buses are standing idle, and many homes have been without power for up to 16 hours a day. Concern is also mounting over the fact that Primorskii Krai has yet to begin stockpiling fuel supplies for the winter. The local power company, owed vast sums by consumers, cannot afford to purchase fuel oil or coal. - Penny Morvant A Border Troop commander denied, however, that the alarm system on the Russian-Chinese border had been switched off, as earlier reported. In a move that should alleviate the situation temporarily, the Pacific Fleet announced that it will transfer more fuel oil to the krai from its reserves, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 July.

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