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Ukraine reduces water supplies to Crimea by three times -- Crimea's first vice-premier

Kiev has reduced water supply to Crimea on the North Crimean canal from 50 cubic meters per second to 16 cubic meters per second, Crimea's First Vice-Premier Rustam Temirgaliyev told journalists on Monday.

The CrimeaInform news agency has quoted Temirgaliyev as saying that the Crimean government had prevented the authorities in Kiev from cutting off all water by finding a technical solution.

Temirgaliyev said Ukraine's Acting Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Andriy Senchenko was behind issuing a direct order to cut off water supplies to the peninsula.

Temporary water shortages have caused minor irrigation problems in Crimea's Saksky district because early sorts of ground vegetables require special watering. But the Crimean authorities have found resources for irrigation.

"The officials in Kiev should seriously moot over what they are doing by cutting off water supplies on the North Crimean canal. Such actions are arousing bewilderment, to put it mildly. I believe that everything will get back to normal, and these people will be brought to responsibility for issuing criminal orders, including to Ukraine's Committee for Water Management," Crimea's first vice-premier said.

Temirgaliyev flatly denied allegations of illegitimate authorities in Kiev who claim the Crimea has not paid for its water. He said Crimea had met Ukraine's requirement and handed over all the necessary documents for concluding a water supply contract to Ukraine's Kherson region last Saturday.

"We said we were ready to pay the price that inept Kiev officials would set. But again, they found some formal reasons by saying we had sent them the wrong documents," Temirgaliyev explained.

North Crimean Canal is a land improvement canal for irrigation and watering of Kherson Oblast in southern Ukraine and Crimea. It was built in 1961-1971 and has multiple branches.

The canal starts from the Kakhovka Reservoir and stretches out to the city of Kerch on the east coast of Crimea.

[Source: Itar Tass, Simferopol, 14Apr14]

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