The authorities of Russia-annexed Crimea intend to ask Russia to negotiate with Ukraine to let water from the Dnieper river into the peninsula.
The idea was proposed by Georgy Muradov, “Vice Chair of the Council of Ministers and Crimea’s Permanent Representative to the Russian President”.
“We would like to ask for help to start sounding out, perhaps, a negotiation process with Ukraine so that they let our water into Crimea. It’s not the water of the Dnieper river, which belongs to Ukraine, it’s our water, which comes from Russian territory,” the Russian news agency TASS cites Muradov as saying.
According to him, water from the Dnieper would help to resolve many problems in the northern part of the Russia-occupied peninsula.
Anton Korynevych, the official Ukrainian presidential representative to Crimea, commented on this statement by the Crimean “authorities”.
“The Dnieper river does not flow through Crimean territory. Ukraine has closed off not the Dnieper channel, but a technological facility (canal) located in Ukraine’s territory, and it is fully entitled to do so,” he wrote on Facebook.
Korynevych emphasized that Crimea is Ukraine’s territory, and not Russia’s. For this reason, Russia cannot bring up matters related to Crimea in intergovernmental relations. “Matters related to Crimea can only be brought up by the sovereign state, Ukraine,” he remarked.
The president’s permanent representative said that none of the occupier-state’s claims have any international legal basis.
“According to all the estimates, there is enough fresh water in Crimea for the population’s needs. In general, it is the occupier-state that is responsible for providing all of the necessary resources for the occupied territory,” Korynevych stressed.
Ukraine used to provide 85% of Crimea’s fresh water through the North Crimean Canal. After Russia’s annexation of the peninsula in 2014, Ukraine cut off the supply.
The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated that the water supply will only be resumed after the occupation of the peninsula has ended.