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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukrainians Shut Off Power to Russia

KIEV -- Ukraine's state energy company Energoatom suspended the export of electricity to Russia on Friday after a state committee increased export tariffs by 77 percent.

Energoatom informed Russia about the new prices but had not received an answer and so was forced to suspend delivery, said spokesman Yuriy Medunitsa.

Ukraine exports 500 million kilowatt-hours per month to Russia, worth 40 million hryvnas ($8 million).

The suspension of electricity exports comes amid an escalating dispute between the neighbors over gas supplies.

Valeriy Kalchenko, the head of the State Committee for Nuclear Regulation, which raised the prices, said the decision had been made after calculating the price at which it is economically feasible for Ukraine to export energy, Interfax reported. He added that if Russia refused to buy energy at higher prices, Ukraine would sell it to Belarus. Kalchenko denied the move was linked to the increasing cost of Russian gas exports to Ukraine.

The two neighbors regularly feud over energy and transit deals, and Ukraine's new government has made it a priority to find other energy sources to reduce its dependence on Russia.