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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has assured the Ukrainian representatives are not discussing with the Russian side the issue of resuming water supplies to occupied Crimea in exchange for ending the war in Donbas.

The minister denies that during the negotiations within the Normandy format for the sake of ending the war, Ukraine might make concessions such as restoring water supplies to occupied Crimea, purchasing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus, agreeing to restore trade relations, etc.

Read alsoTerritorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected, including Crimea – OSCE chair-in-office"Such concessions are not discussed," Kuleba wrote on Twitter on January 14, 2021.

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The foreign minister has also commented on the recent meeting of the Normandy Four political advisers, which took place in Berlin on January 12.

"There were no breakthroughs, but the atmosphere of talks was slightly better than at previous meetings," Kuleba said.

Fresh water shortage in Crimea: Background

  • Prior to the occupation of Crimea by Russia, Ukraine used to cover up to 85% of the peninsula's demand for freshwater through the North Crimean Canal.
  • After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, Ukraine severed water supplies to the occupied peninsula.
  • The Ukrainian authorities claim the resumption of water supplies to Crimea would be possible only if Russia ceases its occupation of the peninsula.
  • In summer 2020, restrictions on water supplies were imposed in the city of Simferopol and 39 other settlements due to drought and shallowing of reservoirs.
  • On September 23, restrictive measures for the water supply were introduced in the towns of Alushta, Partenit, and Maly Mayak.