Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE) has asked the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry for official clarifications over the Bystroye Canal, as the Governor of the Odessa Region Nikolay Serdiuk on Tuesday stated that the Danube-Black Sea Canal has been completed despite the obstacles raised by Romania.
‘Such statements prove that Ukraine continues to act in a unilateral way as far as the Bystroye issue is concerned.
Romania has reminded Ukraine that any works on the Bystroye project, irrespective of whether they are carried out in stage I or II, an artificial and confusing division which was also remarked as thus by the international bodies, the Espoo Convention, are illegal and running contrary to the obligations pledged,’ MAE spokesman Alin Serbanescu told.
In May 2009, Ukraine’s representative with the Espoo Convention assured that Ukraine had not continued works on the controversial Bystroye Canal. Similar assurances were given in a letter to the Romanian environmental letter from his Ukrainian counterpart dated April 22, Serbanescu explained.
‘These statements contradict other official stances of Ukrainian officials, such as the ones of May 26, 2009, that works continued at an alert pace and the premises for the finalisation of the Bystroye Canal were set in place,’ said Serbanescu.
Romania has underscored that its demarches, supported by the demarches of international environmental bodies and NGOs, are not economically motivated, but are aimed at making Ukraine observe the international conventions applicable to a complex infrastructure project carried out in a fragile area of international interest.
‘The statements about the finalisation of the canal all are the more worrying as, according to the schedule of consultations with Ukraine on June 9 in Tuilcea, public debates on the Bystroye Canal are expected, an occasion for the interested Romanian public – NGOs, the media, scientists, locals and more, to voice their opinions on the project and ask the attending Ukrainian officials for more details,’ said Serbanescu.
At the same time, Romania has also informed officials of the relevant international bodies about the statements of the Ukrainian officials so that they may be considered at a future meeting.
Governor of the Odessa Region Nikolay Serdiuk on Tuesday said that, despite the obstacles set up by Romania, the construction of the Danube-Black Sea Canal was completed, the canal is operational and even brining revenues to Ukraine, particularly to the Odessa Region.