The responsibility for providing the residents of Crimea with clean drinking water lies both in Ukraine and in Russia, Elizabeth Throssell, the official representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told RIA Novosti.
Earlier, Natalia Poklonskaya, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, said that the department had requested additional information on the water supply to the peninsula and Ukraine’s blocking of water supplies through the North Crimean Canal. The deputy noted that she had already prepared a request to the head of Crimea, Sergei Aksenov, to obtain information necessary for further interaction with the UN.
“The right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation has been recognized by the UN General Assembly as one of the human rights necessary for a fulfilling life,” Throssell said in a statement.
According to her, the office of the UN High Commissioner believes that Russia “bears the main responsibility for ensuring access to water for the protected population of Crimea.”
“We further note that, in accordance with international human rights law, Ukraine is under an obligation to support the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights and to keep under constant review whether it can take measures to ensure an adequate standard of living for all persons in on its territory, “added Throssell.
She confirmed that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet had received a letter from Poklonskaya and recalled the organization’s position on supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Ukraine provided up to 85% of the peninsula’s needs for fresh water through the North Crimean Canal running from the Dnieper River. However, after the reunification of Crimea with Russia, its filing was completely stopped. The issue of water supply was resolved at the expense of natural reservoirs, which over the past year have become significantly shallower due to the low amount of precipitation, as well as drilling wells and extracting water from underground sources. In Simferopol and 39 adjacent settlements, a phased regime of limiting water supply began on August 24.