Crimea’s water woes have reached critical levels. In some parts of the peninsula, agriculture has nearly ground to a halt due to drought.
READ MORE: Cut Off: Occupied Crimea is Drying Out
Prior to its occupation by Russian forces, this water was supplied by mainland Ukraine, via the Dnipro river and the North Crimean canal. But this arrangement quickly ended following the occupation. Now, a ruling MP from the Servant of the People party has said that selling water to Crimea – in practice, to the occupying Russian authorities – is an option the ruling party has under consideration.
Yuriy Aristov, Servant of the People MP, said this during a conversation with journalists from investigative journalism outlet Schemes.
“We had this idea to sell water. The Israelis sell water when the country is practically at war and make money. That is, they’re basically solving their own social problems at someone else’s expense. Maybe, we can do it here as well…” said the MP.
The Russians seem amenable to the proposed arrangement. Vladimir Dzhabarov, a member of the of the International Affairs Committee of Russia’s Federation Council, the higher legislative house in the country, said that Russia was ready to pay for water.
“A smart statement. We said from the very beginning, when they closed the North Crimean canal, that we are ready to pay for this water. But none of the conclusions were considered,” commented Dzhabarov.
An earlier Ukrainian proposal offered water in exchange for de-occupation of the north part of the peninsula, though that plan never came to fruition. And whether the Ukrainian government will act on a policy of selling water to the peninsula remains to be seen.
READ MORE: Unprecedented Water Crisis in Annexed Crimea