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Russia Declares Energy Emergency

February 6, 1998

MOSCOW (AP) _ A state of emergency was declared Friday in all major cities in Russia’s Far East, where fuel supplies have almost run out, a news agency reported.

Reserves of fuel oil at thermal plants and boilers in the cities of Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Dalnegorsk and Arsenyev will last only a few more days, a spokesman for the region’s energy provider, Alexander Gelbakh, told ITAR-Tass.

About 6,000 tons of fuel oil being delivered to Vladivostok by train were expected to arrive Tuesday, the report said. There was no word of emergency supplies coming to the other cities.

For several winters, people in Vladivostok have been forced to live periodically without hot water or electricity, while temperatures plummet below freezing from October until April or May.

Some homes have no heat and no running water at all, as city authorities have cut off water supplies for fear that pipes would freeze and burst.

The AESKO car repair company, which had contracted with the city to provide heating for buildings on the peninsula, said the local government was refusing to pay. City authorities countered that they hadn’t gotten funds from the central or state government, and they accused AESKO of trying to jack up prices.

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