Newly appointed Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says that Crimea is Ukraine, Ukrainian citizens live there, and the water supply to them should not be blocked.
"The issue of supplying water to occupied Crimea is not a matter of trade with the occupying state, it is not a matter of a certain business – it is a matter of humanitarian responsibility before people who live in Crimea," he said on TV late on Thursday.
Shmyhal emphasized that "the lack of water there will lead to a humanitarian disaster."
"Ukrainians live there – Ukrainians live in Crimea. We will not block the water supply for Ukrainians. Period. Crimea is Ukraine. We are not going to supply water to other place but Ukraine – Crimea is Ukraine ... The occupying state is unable to take responsibility for the Ukrainians who live there," he said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Chairman of the Servant of the People parliamentary faction David Arakhamia said on a Ukrainian TV channel on February 11 he would personally agree if water were supplied from mainland Ukraine to Russia-occupied Crimea in exchange for full control of the Ukrainian border in Donbas.
Yet, he said, it was his personal opinion rather than the position as the parliamentary faction's head. Later, he apologized to Ukrainians for his words, saying they were "taken out of context."