FINAL DOCUMENT on the results of the international conference "Problematic Issues of Water Supply to the Crimea under the Russian Occupation"
on the results of the international conference
"Problematic Issues of Water Supply to the Crimea under the Russian Occupation"
(city of Kherson, October 21, 2020)
Ministry for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine (further – Ministry for Reintegration), with facilitation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Kherson Regional State Administration, organized and held the international conference "Problematic Issues of Water Supply to the Crimea under the Russian Occupation" (further – the Conference).
The Conference was attended via a video call by Vice Prime Minister – Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine O.Reznikov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine E.Dzhapparova, Deputy Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine I.Iaremenko, Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea A.Korynevych, Head of Kherson Regional State Administration I.Husiev, representatives of state and local government bodies, representatives of the expert environment, human rights advocates, scientists etc.
Representatives of state bodies, of the Ombudsman for the Rights of Residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol, of the Medzhlis of the Crimean Tatar People, of the expert environment and mass media, human rights advocates etc. directly spoke at the Conference.
Upon invitation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, representatives of diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Spain, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Sweden, the Apostolic Nunciature in Ukraine etc., as well as such international organizations as the UN and the OSCE, joined the Conference online.
The Conference demonstrated existence of a consolidated position of the state bodies, scientists, the expert environment, and the civil society of Ukraine with regard to:
1. The actual reasons for emergence of the water supply problem for the local population of the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which comprise:
- considerable militarization of the Crimean Peninsula and trends towards active continuation of this process upon instruction of the military and political leaders of Russia (substantial increase of water consumption by a large number of military units and military enterprises);
- replacement of the local population with citizens of the Russian Federation from various regions of Russia in a considerably larger number (totalitarian policy of the Russian military and political leaders as well as the occupying power is observed, characterized with creation of artificial conditions forcing Ukrainian citizens to leave the peninsula, through breach of human rights, violence, pressure, intimidation etc.);
- breach of the norms of the international humanitarian and environmental law, barbaric attitude of the Russian occupying authorities towards the unique natural resources of the Crimean Peninsula.
2. Impossibility to renew water supply from mainland Ukraine to the Crimean Peninsula via the Northern Crimean Canal, considering the above factors and international law norms, which demonstrate that:
- under the international law, the occupant country, i.e. the Russian Federation, is responsible for supporting the life and provision of socio-economic support to the population on the occupied territories;
- the armed forces of the Russian Federation and citizens of Russia illegally staying on these territories are the main consumers of the water resources in the occupied Autonomous Republic of the Crimea (Ukraine is not obliged to provide the occupant troops and persons illegally staying on the territory of Ukraine with anything, and, moreover, to support them);
- Ukraine did not breach the international law norms, considering that it did not resort to artificial changes and did not close the natural bed of the Dnieper River (the Northern Crimean Canal is an artificial structure).
Due to participation of the diplomatic corps and international organizations in the Conference, update was given on the situation of water supply to the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as the position of the Ukrainian government and society on this matter was explained, and also the single solution for the mentioned problem was offered.
At the same time, considering the concentrated significant attention of the speakers on the issue of considerable militarization of the Crimea, including media capable to carry nuclear weapons, the Conference participants noted that the mentioned actions of the military and political leaders of Russia are aimed at increasing the geopolitical pressure onto the leading countries of the world and are provoking aggravation of the security situation not only in the Black Sea region, but in Europe on the whole.
The participants of the international conference concluded that:
- renewal of water supply from mainland Ukraine to the Crimean Peninsula is possible only following complete deoccupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, removal of all Russian occupying troops and restoration of control of the Government of Ukraine over these territories;
- cease of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine on the territory of certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as well as their deoccupation can in no way occur at the expense of concessions with regard to the issue of renewal of water supply and deoccupation of the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
Based on the results of the event, the following proposals were made:
- make information updates for the global community and the international partners, including via the possibilities of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign diplomatic institutions of Ukraine, on the increase of the military threat to the Black Sea countries as the result of the occupation by the Russian Federation and considerable militarization of the Crimean Peninsula;
- draw the attention of the global community and of the international partners, including via the possibilities of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign diplomatic institutions of Ukraine, towards objective information on the situation with water provision in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of the Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as towards the manipulative actions of the Russian Federation on bringing this issue for consideration at various international grounds (both official and unofficial);
- make information updates for the international partners and the relevant international organizations on breaches by the Russian Federation of the international law norms in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, namely continued breach of human rights, pressure, intimidation, illegal imprisonment of Ukrainian citizens, conscription to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, restriction of access to information sources etc.;
- make information updates to specialized international organizations and international partners the issue of breach by the Russian Federation of the international environmental law norms in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, namely damage to the natural environment and to the natural reserve fund due to militarization of the peninsula, illegal usage of subsoil and natural resources of the Crimean Peninsula and of the adjacent sea waters, illegal construction of large infrastructural objects etc.;
- ensure implementation of measures on systemic documenting and recording of facts of damage to the natural environment and natural reserve stock due to militarization of the peninsula, illegal usage of subsoil and natural resources of the Crimean Peninsula and of the adjacent sea waters, illegal construction of large infrastructural objects etc.;
- ensure, including in cooperation with the international partners and specialized international organizations, development/elaboration, as well as regulatory implementation of the procedures and methodologies of calculation of losses caused by damage to the natural environment and natural reserve stock due to militarization of the peninsula, illegal usage of subsoil and natural resources of the Crimean Peninsula and of the adjacent sea waters;
- hold separate conferences in Kherson Region, involving international experts, on the topics: “Militarization of the Crimea as a threat to security in the Black Sea region”, “Combating disinformation, fake news, and development of media literacy in the conditions of information aggression of Russia against Ukraine”;
- when elaborating the State Strategy of Deoccupation and Integration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, take account of the need for stabilization of the environmental situation and improvement of the level of provision with water resources on the Crimean Peninsula following deoccupation.