LUGANSK, December 2. /TASS/. Ukraine has more than halved water supplies to the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) via a water pipe running from the Western filtering station located in Kiev-controlled territory, Vladislav Deinego, the LPR’s chief negotiator at the Contact Group talks on the Ukrainian settlement, said on Friday.
"Yesterday in the evening, we received another ‘present’ from the Ukrainian side. Water supplies via the second water pipe were dramatically reduced, more than halved. So, the situation with water blockade is developing," Lugansk Inform Center quoted him as saying.
On December 1, Ukraine stopped water supplies from the water supply intake facility in Petrivskoye. "Yesterday we encountered problems in Lugansk as a larger part of the city was cut off water supplies. Had we not taken preventive measures anticipating such development, we would have had serious problems," Deinego said.
In early October, Ukraine suspended water supplies to the LPR from water pumping station located in Kiev-controlled areas over unpaid bills. Later, the bills for October and November were paid by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). However the ICRC warned it would stop paying water supplies bills from December 1.
As a result, about 600,000 people living in the Lugansk People’s Republic are running the risk of being left without water. The ICRC has called on the Contact Group to help find solution to the problem with water supplies in the region, for which it is necessary to find a way to pay for electricity used by the water pumping stations supplying water to both sides of the contact line.
Earlier, Deinego said Ukraine demanded a payment of 270 million hryvnias ($1.1 million) for water supplies but had signed no agreement to this effect. In his words, at a meeting of the Normandy Four leaders, namely Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, in Berlin on October 19-20, Ukraine tried to enroll support from its Normandy Four partners to hear a recommendation to refer this issue to the Contact Group’s economic subgroup. However, the Ukrainian side has frustrated four economic subgroup meetings.
Water is supplied to the LPR from two pumping stations located in Kiev-controlled areas: the Western filtering station and the water supply intake facility in Petrovskoye.