Russia says Ukraine blocking water supply to Crimea in European lawsuit

A view of a section of the North-Crimean Canal outside the town of Krasnoperekopsk, in northern Crimea May 10, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

MOSCOW, July 22 (Reuters) - Moscow complained that Ukraine was blocking water supplies to Russian-annexed Crimea in a lawsuit at Europe's top human rights court on Thursday.

Ukraine said the suit contained a series of grievances that it described as Russian propaganda.

Ties between Ukraine and Russia have been fraught since 2014, when Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula on Ukraine's Black Sea coast and backed separatists fighting in its east, triggering Western sanctions and condemnation.

The land grab followed a violent pro-Western revolution that year that forced out a Ukrainian president allied with Moscow.

Russia's General Prosecutor's Office said in a statement it had filed human rights complaints with the European Court of Human Rights over violence in Kyiv and Odessa in 2014 and the deaths of people killed by shelling in Ukraine's east.

It said Ukraine had blocked the North Crimean Canal, which supplies fresh water to Crimea, and has been described as a potential flashpoint between Moscow and Kyiv.

Other grievances included alleged discrimination against Russian speakers by Ukraine and attacks on Russian diplomatic representations.

Ukraine's Justice Minister Denys Malyuska said Russia would lose in court and described the complaints as based on "myths", although he said they had propaganda value for Russia.

"You can't call this move completely pointless - it will create an additional media platform to brainwash (people)..." he said on Facebook.

Kyiv says 14,000 people have been killed in fighting in Ukraine's east. Ukraine and Western countries accuse Russia of sending troops and heavy weapons to support proxy fighters who seized a swathe of the eastern Donbass region in 2014.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth in Moscow and Pavel Polityuk in Kyiv; editing by Giles Elgood

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