Kravchuk: Issue of water supply to Crimea may be considered in case of humanitarian crisis.

Ukraine may consider supplying water to the occupied Crimea in case of a humanitarian crisis on the peninsula.

"I have always emphasized: [we should] not just supply water, but [we may supply it] if something happens, which I would not want to happen. For instance, a humanitarian crisis in Crimea in terms of water supply... Therefore, the issue of water supply may be considered separately in case of a humanitarian crisis and not just because Russia wants us to supply water," Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) Leonid Kravchuk said on the air of Dom TV channel.

As he noted, Russia bears all the responsibility for what is happening in Crimea, including the issue of water supply to the population. "I am guided by international norms, namely: the country that occupied a territory is fully responsible for the lives of people in this territory, for the policy it pursues there, for the living conditions of people. This is the responsibility of the occupying power, not Ukraine," the head of the Ukrainian delegation to TCG stressed.

Even if Ukraine has to consider the water supply to Crimea, it does not mean that water will be supplied immediately, Kravchuk explained. "It is not done in such a way: a crisis emerges and some actions follow immediately. All over the world, this process looks like this: issues are discussed, decisions are made under certain conditions, and only then we can talk about what will be done and how," he added.

As reported, water reserves in local reservoirs continue to decline in the occupied Crimea.

Until 2014, Ukraine provided 85% of Crimea's fresh water needs through the North Crimean Canal which connects the Dnieper River with the peninsula. After Russia had occupied Crimea, water supplies to Crimea were suspended. 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 that Russia bears the full responsibility for ensuring the water supply on the peninsula in accordance with international law.

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