"They have problems [because of drought] and they concern the entire economy of Crimea since entire industries will now see a decline there due to the lack of water," Obozrevatel online media outlet quoted Babin as saying, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.
According to him, Russia's attempts to resume water supplies on the pretext of an environmental disaster caused by evaporation of acid from settling tanks of several enterprises due to the lack of water are botched.
"They have been and are able to pump [water] from other sources. If the occupiers have not done so, the responsibility rests with them," the envoy said.
The environmental issue of Crimea is being monitored at the highest level in Ukraine, Babin said. "Appropriate measures are being taken. Namely, we have initiated relevant expert examinations by environmental inspections; we have informed monitoring missions of international organizations about the actions of the insolent occupiers who have been destroying the environment of Crimea and [neighboring Ukrainian-controlled] Kherson region," the official said.
On Sept. 3, the media reported that in the past week the Ukrainian border guards in Kherson region who are protecting the administrative border with temporarily occupied Crimea had repeatedly recorded cases of toxic chemical emissions allegedly from the Titan Plant located in the occupied peninsula.
According to the Azov-Black Sea regional department of the State Border Service, the military detected toxic substances in the air with chemical detectors once again near the Chaplynka checkpoint. The border guards informed the local authorities, law enforcement agencies and evacuated personnel from areas exposed to chemical contamination.
In addition, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights of Residents of Crimea and Sevastopol Ismail Khalikov said on Facebook that there was a leak of unknown chemical substance in the north of Crimea in the early hours of August 24.
On August 30, Crimean environmentalists and experts concluded that the cause behind the environmental disaster could be evaporation of acid at the Titan Plant due to abnormal heat and the absence of water in the North Crimean Canal. The towns of Armyansk and Yany Kapu are most affected: all metal items are covered with rust, there is a persistent odor of acid, and dead birds are occasionally found on the ground.
The Russian-controlled local authorities announced that the Crimean Titan Plant had been halted for two weeks, and the evacuation of children from Armyansk to Crimean resorts had begun, the Krym.Realii news outlet said. The concentration of sulfurous acid anhydride has exceeded the norm, they said.