Professor Milena Sterio was quoted in an NPR story titled, “Russia has achieved at least 1 of its war goals: return Ukraine’s water to Crimea.” The story discusses how one of Russia’s first acts of war in its invasion of Ukraine was to blow up a dam that had been blocking water from flowing into Russian-occupied Crimea.
Professor Sterio discussed the international law aspects of Russia’s legal claims over this water supply. She noted that one of the complexities to this dispute is the fact that most of the world still views Crimea as belonging to Ukraine. “So if you consider the territory [Crimea] to be a part of Ukraine but occupied by Russia, then the law of occupation, the so-called Fourth Geneva Convention, clearly says that it’s the occupier that has the responsibility to ensure the welfare of the people living in that occupied territory,” Professor Sterio explained. She also discussed other aspects of this water dispute, noting that international law is not entirely clear on the subject of water rights.
The story is available here.