MAE: Ukraine’s accusations referring to Danube Delta have no real ground

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) on Monday rejected the accusations made by Kiev referring to some „irregularities” committed by Romania in the Danube Delta and said that the allegations of the Ukrainian side were unfounded, with no real ground.

„The statements made by the Ukrainian side referring to Romania’s alleged violations of the provisions of the Espoo Convention are unfounded. Considering these mere allegations, which have no real ground, the Romanian delegation will inform the implementation committee of the fact that Romania does not really build any inner navigable way in the Danube Delta and does not intend to implement such a project, as Ukraine says,” informs MAE in Bucharest.

Romania will also inform the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee, which will be held in Geneva on September 16-17, that the activities Ukraine refers to in its complaint, such as making the Sulina channel navigable, dredging work or carrying out hydrographic work on the Sf Gheorghe branch, were almost completely finished before Romania ratified the Espoo Convention (March 29, 2001), therefore the provisions of the convention could not be applied to them, informs MAE.

As for the work done after that date, it not subject to the provisions of the Convention, which establishes the list of activities regarded, as early as the project stage, as being apt to cause cross- border impact, being done on the basis of some obligations devolving on Romania in keeping with some international conventions, and Ukraine was informed of them.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thinks that, by doing this, the Ukrainian authorities try to make up for the image created by the repeated negative reactions of the relevant international bodies to the development of the Bystroe project.

The Espoo Convention Implementation Committee in Geneva will examine a request made by Ukraine on March 6, 2009 against Romania referring to an alleged violation by the Romanian side of the environment obligations as regards the building of some inner navigable waterways in the Danube Delta.

Romania notified the Convention Implementation Committee of Ukraine’s failure to carry out the procedures stipulated by the Convention in connection with building a deep navigation canal on the Bystroe and Chilia branches of the Danube („the Bystroe project”).

Following Romania’s steps and on the basis of the conclusions drawn by the Implementation Committee, the states that are part of the Espoo Convention in Bucharest, in May 2008, made a decision finding Ukraine’s failure to fulfil its obligations.

Subsequently Ukraine annulled the decision on implementing the second stage of the project of the navigation canal and started consultations on this subject with the Romanian side, consultations that are currently under way.

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