Kiev decreases water supplies to Crimean peninsula

Kiev decreases water supplies to Crimean peninsula
# 27 April 2014 01:41 (UTC +04:00)

“Ukraine’s act of sabotage to limit the supply of water to the republic through the North Crimean Canal is nothing but a deliberate action against Crimeans,” Aksyonov said on Saturday.

The canal, which was built in 1971, provides Crimea with 85 percent of its required fresh water.

Aksyonov, however, pledged that Crimea would not face water scarcity as the region had enough emergency supplies, and the issue was under discussion with Ukrainian officials.

“Negotiations are underway with Ukraine at the federal level” to solve the problem, he stated, adding, “There are backup plans. In any case, Crimea will not be left without water. As for drinking water, there are no problems with it.”

He also censured Ukraine’s interim government officials who “are acting like enemies trying to cause their former fellow citizens harm”, saying, “they will get a proper assessment from the people of Crimea and will always be persona non-grata in the republic. Usually, those who mischief hatch, mischief catch.”

Crimea relies heavily on water and power supplies from Ukraine. It currently gets about 80 percent of its electricity needs from Kiev.

Tensions between Ukraine and Crimea heightened after the peninsula declared independence from Kiev and became part of Russia following a referendum on March 16, in which almost 97 percent of the participants voted for rejoining the Russian Federation.

The move sparked angry reactions from the United States and the European Union, both imposing punitive measures against a number of Russian officials and authorities in Crimea.