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Scientists’ List Instead of the Environment Report

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26 Aug 2004 - 00:00
Scientists’ List Instead of the Environment Report


EVENT 26th 2004

Following Romania’s pressing, supported by the EU, USA, Germany and scores of ecologist organizations, Ukraine has sent us a report about the Bistroe channel. It is a report that contains a lot of names belonging to a lot of Ukrainian scientists…

By ALEXANDRU NASTASE and LAVINIA TUDORAN

The schedule has been to busy on the 24th of August, their national day. Parades, ceremonies… So, the Ukrainians decided that the initiation of the Bistroe channel should be held today. Our neighbors seem to be deaf, while governments and scores of international organizations lay siege upon them. How should they give up on Bistroe, their own Danube - Black Sea channel? And how in the world should they submit to Romania that was decently asking for at least one study about the impact of the channel upon the environment? This is it, Romania and Ukraine share one of the most beautiful and precious places in the world, the Danube Delta, reserve and natural monument, which will have a lot to suffer due to the Bistroe channel and Kiev’s ambitions.

ACCUSATIONS. "But why such a concern?", ask the Ukrainians like nothing ever happened. "There’s no reason for anyone to be concerned about the potential ecological danger of this channel. The Romanians have exaggerated this issue without any valid grounds, causing restlessness." This is the "diplomatic" reaction of the Ukrainian Ministry for the External Affairs spokesman, Markian Lubkivski, to the warnings sent in the past days by Romania, USA, EU.

This comes after the "profound regret" to the announced initiation of the first half of the Bistroe channel expressed by the European Commission yesterday. The Commission emphasizes the fact that the channel passes through a protected part of the Danube Delta, which is included in the international patrimony of UNESCO.

REPORT WITH…NAMES. After desperate calls, Ukraine sent to Bucharest a new documentation regarding the making of the Bistroe channel, the second documentation. This time, as in the previous one, our neighbors’ report is incomplete, according to Romanian environmental experts. "The report has about 30 pages, whereby one is the cover, one is the contents, and two more contain the names of several Ukrainian scientists, members of some research institutes and of the Academy in Ukraine. The report is actually is an addendum to an analysis sent in 2003 regarding the same issue, but I can tell you that both reports are incomplete, which contradicts even the Ukrainian legislation, not to say about the Romanian or the European one. The international laws say that, when one is making such a report, one should know about the necessary information, and they are not to be found in the analysis received from the Ukrainians. The report does not contain any data about the project’s impact upon the Danube Delta’s fauna, for example", stated for Jurnalul National Ioan Jelev, Secretary of State for the Ministry for the Environment and Waters’ Administration. As a response to the Ukrainian authorities’ attitude, the Romanians are decided about requesting the international Commission in Espoo a report to be made by independent experts together with a Romanian expert. "We have been asked about not making ourselves a report concerning the Bistroe issue. The answer is quite simple: such a thing contradicts the international legislation, and because Romania should have all the technical details, all the maps which we obviously don’t have", added Ioan Jelev.

THE EXPERTS. The examination has been made by 21 Ukrainian experts: nine geography specialists, one geology-mineralogy specialist, one law specialist, one physics-mathematics specialist, one for the agriculture, one for the technical sciences, one for geo-ecology, one engineer, three superior scientific assistants and one superior lecturer. The Ukrainians have reserved half a page for the "Impact of the Examined Target".

CONTENTS

"The report has about 30 pages, whereby one is the cover, one is the contents, and two more contain the names of several Ukrainian scientists, members of some research institutes and of the Academy in Ukraine. (…)The report does not contain any data about the project’s impact upon the Danube Delta’s fauna, for example" - Ioan Jelev, Secretary of State for the Ministry for the Environment and Waters’ Administration

LOSS

Insignificant. This is the way the Shipping Channels’ Administration (SCA) described the financial loss following the Ukrainian ships detouring to the Bistroe channel. "Romania cashes 200,000 euro per year from the annual transit on the Danube - Black Sea channel from the almost one million tones of Ukrainian goods, also taking into account that the ships from this country are preferentially taxed. The annual SCA flat income concerning the Ukrainian ships is 20,000 - 30,000 euro", explained for Mediafax the general director of SCA, Gheorghe Nicolau.

CONSULTATION

Also today, in Bucharest this time, President Ion Iliescu is to have a meeting with PM Adrian Nastase, the State Minister Ioan Talpes, the Transport Minister, Miron Mitrea, the Environment Minister, Speranta Ianculescu and with some other authorities, a meeting concerning the Bistroe issue. On the other hand, Mr. Geoana, the Minister for External Affairs, has sent yesterday letters to his counterpart in USA, in Holland, the country that has the presidency of EU for the time being, to the Union’s External Affairs member, Javier Solana, as well as to the general director of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsura. Geoana mourns the fact that Ukraine moved further with the project in contrary to the requests coming from Romania and to the actions of the European Commission, of the EU states, USA and of the international environment organizations. It is hard to believe that there is a person in this world to convince the Ukrainian President, Leonid Kucima, to give up on the Bistroe channel.
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