The Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Natalya Poklonskaya sent a letter addressed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urging to condemn the criminal actions of the Ukrainian authorities, unilaterally cut off the supply of fresh water to the Crimea, and to take measures to resume the supply of Dnieper water in the North Crimean Canal.
The main source of fresh water for the Crimea is the North Crimean Canal, which extends from the Dnieper channel, which provided 85 percent of people’s needs for clean and safe drinking water. However, after the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the water supply through the canal to the republic was completely unilaterally stopped.
“We urge you, Madame High Commissioner, as well as the states that have recognized the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and which are parties to international conventions and agreements for the protection of human rights, to strongly condemn the criminal actions of the Ukrainian side, flagrantly violating international law and directly violating this country’s obligations in the field of rights person, and take comprehensive measures to ensure that all possible ways to restore the functioning of the North Crimean Canal, “the letter says, the text of which is available to RIA Novosti.
The deputy calls on the international community and the UN to take urgent measures aimed at ending the discriminatory policy of the Ukrainian authorities against millions of Crimeans, and Bachelet – to take all possible steps within the mandate entrusted to it by the international community to prevent a repeated water blockade of the peninsula in the future.
“Madame High Commissioner, in the 21st century a flagrant and massive violation of the fundamental rights of Crimean residents takes place in Europe. A UN member state Ukraine has deprived millions of people of a basic and inalienable right to drinking water, creating a real threat to human life and health, as well as to the ecology of this unique parts of southeastern Europe, “the letter says.
Poklonskaya emphasized that Crimea is a unique multinational region of the world, on the territory of which 2.4 million people and 170 nationalities live, including a number of unique autochthonous nationalities, the number of each of which does not exceed two thousand people.
“At the same time, the Ukrainian side is deliberately taking actions that create a threat of humanitarian catastrophe by depriving Crimean residents of the right to water,” the deputy noted.
Poklonskaya emphasized that the Dnieper river flows are international in nature and originate in Russia, where the bulk of the Dnieper basin water flowing into Ukraine is formed. And the canal itself, which is the main source of drinking water for the population of Crimea, was built at the expense of funds and efforts not of Ukraine, but of the entire Soviet Union in the 50s of the last century, when the peninsula was part of the Russian Federation.
“In taking anti-humane actions, the Ukrainian authorities pursue a hateful policy and are guided by feelings of revenge against Crimeans who opposed the coup in Kiev in 2014,” the letter said.
According to Poklonskaya, Ukraine’s “criminal overlap” of the canal in 2014 already affected the state of the ecosystem of both the Lower Dnieper and Crimea. As a result of this, there is a dangerous waterlogging and salinization of soils and, as a result, the destruction of many species of flora and fauna of the territories adjacent to the canal, deterioration of the fertile soil layer and quality indicators of the health of the inhabitants of the region.
“Such actions endanger the lives of millions of people and can be equated with repression,” Poklonskaya emphasized.
According to her, Ukraine’s actions not only violate the UN Charter and contradict its goals and principles, but are also directly aimed at the destruction of human rights, which in itself grossly violates article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 5 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 5 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Poklonskaya emphasized that Crimeans expect an early response to the appeal and are ready to provide detailed factual materials.