Ukraine must not supply water to Crimea - Arsen Avakov

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Canan Kevser
03 March 2021, 12:02
Canan Kevser
03 March 2021, 12:02

Ukraine must not supply water to the temporarily occupied Crimea until the country restores its sovereignty over the peninsula.

Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov said this in an interview with Ukrainian TV channel 1+1.

“[Supply of] water to Crimea… It is now the 30th year of independence, and Ukraine was dealing with this situation for 23 years by supplying water to Crimea. Ukraine supplied 80-85 per cent of water to Crimea through a canal for the needs of the population and everything else. That was a gigantic work, engineering efforts, costs," Avakov said.

The Minister of Internal Affairs emphasised that the situation is different now due to Russian militarization in Crimea.

"Should we supply water for the contingent of Russian troops and missiles deployed there? Are we responsible for this? Does Ukraine have some international obligations?" the minister asked.

He firmly asserted that Ukraine must not supply water to Crimea until Crimea returns to Ukraine.

About Water Crisis of Crimea

Until 2014, Ukraine provided 85% of Crimea’s freshwater needs through the North Crimean Canal, which connects the Dnieper River with the peninsula. 

After Russia had illegally occupied Crimea, water supplies to Crimea were cut off.

Five rivers supplying fresh water to reservoirs for drinking water on the peninsula dried up as a whole: Kacha, Alma, Chernaya, Belbek, Tonas rivers.

Since August 2020, the occupation authorities introduced severe restrictions on water consumption in several districts of Crimea.

Currently, water reserves on the peninsula are replenished from reservoirs and underground sources.

According to Crimean environmentalists, regular use of underground sources leads to salinization of soil.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has repeatedly stated the need for its experts to enter the occupied peninsula blocked by Russia. The mission also declared that Russia has the primary responsibility for ensuring the water supply of the territory it occupied.