REUTERS

"The issue of supplying water to Crimea, to occupied Crimea is an instrument of de-occupation," he said during a TV panel show Pravo na Vladu on Thursday.

At the same time, MP from the Holos faction, Yulia Klymenko, emphasized that "this is the other way around – an instrument of occupation."

In turn, Kuleba said: "No. I said... We may provide [water], we may not provide it, but it should always be considered as a tool of de-occupation."

As UNIAN reported earlier, newly appointed Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Crimea is Ukraine, Ukrainian citizens live there, and the water supply to them should not be blocked.

He later rolled back on his statement, assuring the public in a Facebook post overnight Friday that Ukraine will not restore water supplies to Crimea until Russia withdraws from the peninsula, explaining his point with the fact that, if supplied, water would also be used by Russian military facilities.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov earlier said it is impossible to supply water to Crimea while the peninsula is occupied by the Russian Federation.