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SIMFEROPOL, May 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine is building a dam on the North Crimean Canal in the Kherson Oblast about 40km from the border with Crimea, Crimea Inform news agency reported citing witnesses’ reports.
The dam is built from bags with sand on the side of the Armyansk - Kherson highway near a bridge in the town of Kalanchak.
“With the help of cranes and other construction equipment, the dam in the canal is being built right from the bridge,” eyewitnesses said.
Earlier, Ukrainian officials said Crimea was illegally taking water from the North Crimean Canal. Crimean authorities, in turn, have repeatedly stated their readiness to sign a contract on water supply to the peninsula, but received no answer.
Ukraine cuts off water supply to Crimea
On April 26, Ukraine closed sluices of the North Crimean Canal, halting water supply from the Dnieper River to the peninsula.
Crimea received 85% of fresh water through the canal, which was built in 1961-1971. It streches from the Kakhovka Reservoir to Kerch.
Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov told the Crimea Inform news agency that restrictions on the supply of water to Crimea is an act of sabotage.
“Ukraine’s act of sabotage to limit the supply of water to the republic through the North Crimean Canal is nothing but a deliberate action against Crimeans,” he said.
Aksyonov said “negotiations are underway with Ukraine at the federal level” to resolve the issue. “There are backup plans. In any case, Crimea will not be left without water. As for drinking water, there are no problems with it,” he said.
The prime minister said that the Crimean authorities were engaged in negotiations with all agricultural producers who have been cut off from water supply from the North Crimean Canal. “The rice situation is the worst. Crimea is redrawing the map of crop areas in regions where irrigation may not be available,” he said, adding that alternative areas were being offered to agricultural producers.
“We are also considering an alternative plan for drilling wells and we are working on this day and night,” he added.