Russia appeals to UN to help restore water supply from Ukraine to Crimea
Russian State Duma deputy and former Crimean prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya appealed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet because of the interruption of fresh water supply to the peninsula from Ukraine, RIA Novosti reports.
"We urge you to strongly condemn the criminal actions of the Ukrainian side, which blatantly violate international law and directly violate the obligations of this country in the field of human rights," the RIA Novosti quoted Poklonskaya's letter as saying.
The MP called for all necessary measures to resume the water supply of the peninsula through the North Crimean Canal, as well as an end to the "discriminatory policy of the Ukrainian authorities against millions of Crimeans."
Ukraine closed the floodgates of the North Crimea Canal in 2014 after the peninsula was annexed by Russia. The canal to Crimea received water from the Dnieper River, which provided 85% of the needs of the agricultural industry in the region.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.