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Ukraine’s water blockade did not hamper Crimea’s development — regional head

The peninsula has adapted to the lack of water supply through the North Crimean Canal
Head of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov  Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
Head of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

SIMFEROPOL, August 14. /TASS/. The water blockade was imposed on Crimea by Ukraine five years ago but failed to achieve its goals, the peninsula has adapted to the lack of water supply through the North Crimean Canal and is now developing successfully, head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

"The water blockade failed to produce the results Kiev was expecting. There is no water deficit for agricultural and drinking needs, the peninsula’s economy is developing, tourist flow is increasing, while agriculture has adapted to the new environment. But it does not change the fact that the attempt to deprive more than two million people of freshwater is in itself state terrorism," he underscored.

According to Aksyonov, a few statements were made by Kiev in the past few days regarding the water blockade of Crimea.

"Essentially, they are signaling that the new Ukrainian leadership believes that shutting off water supply through the North Crimean Canal is a right and lawful strategy. <…> Presidents, politicians and party banners change, while approaches remain. This is a clear testament to the fact that the alternation of power in itself does not guarantee that it’s quality improves. <…> The water blockade of Crimea is a part of the anti-Russian strategy of the West," he added.

Crimea first faced water shortage in April 2014, when Ukraine stopped supplying Dnieper water through the North Crimean Canal, which used to meet 90% of the peninsula’s necessities. The eastern and northern parts of Crimea were the hardest hit by water shortage back then.

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the authorities in Kiev who seized power amid riots that sparked a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification treaties. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.