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Romania criticizes Serbia over oil spill

Romania criticizes Serbia over oil spill

Romania criticised Serbia on Wednesday for failing to warn it about oil spills on the Danube river that could potentially affect farming and its ecologically sensitive delta, home to 300 species of birds.
Romanian authorities said the oil spills began in Serbia on Monday and then flowed east to where the Danube runs between Romania and Bulgaria.
Romania said it was told only on Tuesday about the spill.
"(Environment) Minister Sulfina Barbu sent a letter to the Serbian Farm Ministry, firmly slamming it for not notifying Romanian officials of the spill ... and not acting to remove its effects," the ministry said in a statement.
According to Romanian authorities, there are two oil slicks on the Bulgarian side of the river, some 30 to 40 km (19 to 25 miles) from the Serbian border.
Serbia's Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Ministry said it had discovered a leak of an "unspecified quantity of fuel oil" coming from a plant of Serbian oil company NIS in Prahovo, on the border. It said teams on the ground saw an oil slick on the Danube near the plant. NIS had already repaired the leak.
The director of Serbia Waters, Nikola Marjanovic, said the Serbian plant did report a minor leak, but added the origin of the second spill was still unknown.
"The malfunction in Prahovo was fixed and there has been no leakage since yesterday," Marjanovic said. "However this is a small quantity of oil which could in no way explain the size of the spill that has appeared."
The Romanian government decided at its weekly meeting on Wednesday to take measures to prevent the oil from reaching Romanian shores.
Bulgarian authorities are also planning to put around 200 metres (656 ft) of special fencing near the towns of Nikopol and Belene to prevent the slicks from spreading further downriver.


Updated : 2021-08-02 21:17 GMT+08:00