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Romania to Sue Ukraine over Danube Delta Canal

The government said on 26 August that it will file a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Ukraine's opening of a shipping canal in the Danube delta, Reuters reported. Construction on the Bystraya

Canal was officially inaugurated the same day by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

Romanian President Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, and the foreign affairs, transport, environment, and justice ministers met to discuss the issue.

Environmentalists claim that changes to the delta's water table will harm the extensive flora and fauna in the area, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, however, dismissed the criticism as politically and economically motivated. He said that "all the international ecological requirements were met." Both the EU and the U.S. have asked Ukraine to halt construction until a more complete environmental-impact assessment can be completed.

(RFE/RL 30.viii.04)

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