Dehydration of the Crimea as a way to deoccupation?

19 May 2017, 17:43 | Policy
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The Kremlin initially did not calculate the economic consequences of the occupation of the Crimea. The Russian authorities were confident that the West will see through the fingers of the peninsula's rejection. The opinion of the official Kyiv was also not taken into account. In Moscow, they were sure that Ukraine would soon cease to exist or the Russian puppets would come to power. As a result, in the spring of 2014, the Russian leadership did not have a plan for securing the peninsula in conditions of blockade and international isolation, "writes Sergey Stelmakh in the column" Crimea. Realities ".

Crimean "authorities" recognized that the water reserves in the north of the peninsula are very limited. According to the "Minister" of industrial policy, Andrei Vasyuta, in two years the region's industrial enterprises will have to stop. "The resource of water intake wells will be completely exhausted in a year and a half or two, which can theoretically lead to a halt in production at chemical enterprises. And I do not even see any reason to talk about those catastrophic consequences that (this stop) may entail for the northern Crimea, "Vasyuta.

According to the "minister," there are several options for solving the problem: drilling new artesian wells, building a desalination plant, supplying water from the Kuban or resuming the work of the North Crimean Canal. The last two options the Russian authorities of the Crimea consider "unlikely". According to preliminary calculations, the Kremlin will have to shell out 50 billion rubles to desalinate sea water.

The former Ukrainian People's Deputy, now the head of the public organization "The Power of Law" Andrei Senchenko is sure that the shortage of fresh water will help to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine as soon as possible.

"There is the Geneva Convention of 1949, which regulates the status of the occupation authorities. It clearly defines that all issues of ensuring the vital activity of the population in the occupied territory are imposed by an international convention on the occupying country. Therefore, this is a problem for Russia. And the threat of costs associated with resettlement from the North Crimea - is again an argument in favor of an early return of the Crimea to Ukraine, "- said the politician. The Ukrainian authorities blocked deliveries to the occupied territory not in order to create problems for Crimeans. Andrei Senchenko called the main goal of the water and energy blockade a significant increase in the cost of Crimea for the Russian budget.

After the "referendum", water supplies across the North-Crimean channel were stopped. Agriculture of the Central and Northern Crimea suffered significant losses due to a sharp reduction in irrigated land. Under threat was the provision of fresh water residents of these areas. Moscow and local officials have chosen the easiest way - they began to lie to the population. First, the "authorities" argued that Kiev would not risk cutting off water and electricity. After they stated that the republic itself is able to provide itself with the available reservoirs and precipitation. Now they had to admit that without the Dnieper water the north of the peninsula could turn into a lifeless desert in a few years.

Now the needs of Crimea in the water are ten times higher than the resources available on the peninsula. Russian experts and public figures expressed the idea that the Kremlin will have to resettle the inhabitants of the North Crimea to other territories. Otherwise, the "authorities" can not avoid serious social cataclysms. But how to do this, officials do not know.

Will water or any other blockade of the peninsula bring it back to Ukraine? In the medium term, limiting shipments to the peninsula may help the Kremlin to compel it to negotiate in the Crimea. This is possible under certain important conditions. The first is the preservation and tightening of Western and Ukrainian sanctions against the aggressor country. Moscow is doing everything so that Washington and Brussels tightened the economic hamper even more tightly.

The oppression of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in the Crimea, the militarization of the peninsula and the prospect of placing nuclear weapons there, the reluctance to comply with the Minsk accords, threats of open invasion of Ukraine, interference in the political affairs of Western countries, attempts to disrupt the legitimate electoral process, recruitment and outright bribery of European politicians - List of grounds for pressure on the Kremlin. Since the beginning of the annexation of the Crimea, the Russian authorities have bluffed, constantly raising the rates. Now the "Crimean diplomacy" of Moscow has reached a deadlock. Going further, arranging new provocations, it became risky, and the retreat of President Vladimir Putin is afraid.

The blocking of the Crimea by Ukraine, along with Western sanctions, turned the peninsula into a black hole for the federal budget. Most of the funds go to the Kerch bridge (in fact - in the pocket of the Moscow oligarch Arkady Rothenberg), pensions and payments to state employees. The rest of the Crimeans - especially small and medium-sized businesses, connected with tourism - are injected with a safety factor.

The second factor is the stability of the Ukrainian state itself. The revenge of the pro-Russian forces can make the blockade of the peninsula meaningless. Representatives of the former elite do not hide that they intend to conclude a "peace" with the Kremlin, to stop the "civil war" in the Donbass, in fact to abandon the Crimea, resuming rail service, deliveries of water, electricity and goods. While Vladimir Putin hopes for this option. In case of its failure, Russians can hit Ukraine from the Crimea, explaining this by the need to put water on the peninsula. Meanwhile, all the Kremlin's attempts to "exchange" the lifting of the Crimean sanctions on the Donbas or Syria have failed.

The third is the acute crisis in Russia itself. The Kremlin hopes to freeze the "Crimean issue". The administration of the Russian president no longer counts on the official recognition of the "Krymnas". They will be enough if the West closes its eyes to the occupation and allows to bypass the Crimean sanctions. Washington several times overlapped the Russians have loopholes.

Judging by the actions of Vladimir Putin, he believes that the issue of Crimea will be decided by his successors. In the case of political and economic cataclysms in Russia, the government of the country may not have money to support the Crimea. Military and security forces Moscow will pay in any case, but "ordinary" Crimeans will provide for the residual principle. In this case, social revolt in the country can not be avoided.

New Russian authorities will be forced to negotiate a future peninsula.

While the Kremlin pretends that the issue of Crimea is "closed", the republic is slowly dying out. Everything goes to the fact that Moscow will return the Crimea in almost the same form as it passed to Ukraine in 1954 - dehydrated and deserted.

Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Join also the TSN group. Blogs on facebook and follow the updates of the section!.

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