Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said on Wednesday that the Zaporizhzhia NNP, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, will supply electricity to Russia’s power grid if Ukraine is not willing to pay for power from it. During a trip to the region, Khusnullin stated that “If the energy system of Ukraine is ready to receive and pay, then (the plant) will work for Ukraine. If not, then (the plant) will work for Russia,” adding “We have a lot of experience of working with nuclear power plants, we have companies in Russia that have this experience.”
However, Ukraine’s state nuclear agency Energoatom, which operates the plant, stated that Russia “does not understand that electricity is not a product that can simply be stolen. There is no technical or any other possibility for this.”
Energoatom spokesman Leonid Oliynyk told the BBC that “The plant only works in Ukraine’s energy grid,” adding that “The Russians can build a power line theoretically, but it will take a long time, like their Crimean bridge – several years.”
“Now the power station is working at a minimum level, but Kyiv remains in charge, all the power lines are controlled by Ukraine. The Russian statement is wishful thinking.”
Ukraine’s electricity grid operator Ukrenergo also stated that “Ukraine’s power system currently has no physical connections with Russia’s power system. Therefore, the supply of electricity from Ukrainian power plants to Russia is currently physically impossible.”
The plant was captured on March 4 following an assault by Russian ground forces on the city of Energodar. The facility has remained operational by Ukrainian technicians, but under Russian supervision.