“On World Water Day, we remain shocked that one of the many appalling tactics of the Russian attack on Ukraine is the use of water as a weapon of war,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell and Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius on the occasion of this international day.
World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people living without access to safe water.
Borrell and Sinkevičius said Russian armed forces had deliberately cut off the Mariupol population’s access to safe water, using the threat of dehydration to force the surrender of their city and denying access to the most basic needs.
“Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine shows how crucial it is to contain the environmental impacts of conflict and to prevent the appropriation and overexploitation of water resources,” the statement says. “As good quality water becomes scarce, the lack of wastewater treatment and the increasing number of shelling and bombing of civilian infrastructure, such as attacks on chemical industries, create additional risks and further exacerbate the quality of freshwater.”
Borrell and Sinkevičius reiterated that access to safe drinking water is a fundamental human right and water should never be used as a weapon of war – in Ukraine or anywhere else.
“Every drop counts. Clean drinking water and sanitation are essential human rights. In the world today, 2.2 billion people are still deprived of access to safe drinking water,” the statement said.
Find out more
More campaign pages:
Interested in the latest news and opportunities?
This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.