Three ships belonging to the River Administration of the Lower Danube Galati (AFDJ) are currently in standby to carry out measurements on the Bystroe Canal, Minister of Transport, Sorin Grindeanu, has announced.
Last week, Grindeanu cited reasons to believe that Ukraine is dredging the Bystroe canal, which could have an impact on the environment and the Danube Delta.
Later, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca stated that „any excess” from maintenance works on the Bystroe canal will be clarified between Romania and Ukraine and that the European Commission will be notified if necessary.
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Wednesday, as regards the topic of the Bystroye Canal, that circumstances need to be checked together with the Ukrainian authorities, and the Romanian politicians should let the experts to see what is really happening there „before engaging in inflammatory discourse”.
„There is a legitimate concern for the Danube Delta, however, we shouldn’t mix concern and concrete measures for the preservation of the biosphere of the Danube Delta, for the preservation of biodiversity, we shouldn’t mix them with various political approaches of the moment. That Bystroye Canal has been dredged for years, because the Ukrainians use it for navigation. Obviously, these issues are limited by international agreements and must be observed by all parties. In order to know what is happening there, we need to talk to the Ukrainians. Only this did not really happen. I’ve seen that here, a whole series of politicians became inflamed, without checking what is actually happening there. (…) I think some of our politicians sensed an opportunity to profile themselves a little more in the Romanian public space, probably in view of the elections which are to take place next year”, he stated at the Romanian Embassy in Warsaw.
He pointed out that the Ukrainians have requested discussions at an expert level – with the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but that these did not take place.
„But our people, inflamed and determined, are making statements that do not yet have a proven foundation. Ukrainians maintain that they are dredging for maintenance and nothing else. If it is so or not, it is good to check, but I think it is legitimate to check together with them, after all it is Ukrainian national territory and I think it is very good that our politicians, before giving inflammatory speeches, let experts and specialists see what is really happening there, whether international legislation is observed or not, to discuss bilaterally with the European Commission, in order to take the necessary measures. I don’t think it is appropriate to attack the Ukrainians based on unverified data. I do not think that at this moment it is appropriate to attack the Ukrainians on the basis of uncertain data. Now, they do not need to be scolded, they need support. (…) Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do not want works that endanger the biodiversity of the Danube Delta to be tolerated, but I also cannot believe that it is good to get heated without knowing exactly what we are talking about here. I believe that these many statements that have been made in the last few days are both inappropriate and unproductive and I invite all those concerned to wait until the experts meet, discuss, verify, conclude and come up with a plan of measures. It is, in my opinion, the most correct approach and I think it is also the approach that leads us to results”, Iohannis said.
In his view, the Ukrainians are most likely carrying out works because their ports at the Black Sea are currently blocked by Russian invaders.
„They want to leave somewhere with their merchandise. I believe that it is understandable, but we, too, have demands that the Danube Delta be preserved and protected and this is very understandable, but the path is the diplomatic one, calm and with experts”, Klaus Iohannis added.
„We have given them a provisional agreement until the works get cleared and this matter has also been communicated to the European Commission. There is nothing new here. The ones who attempted to make a big problem out of it I don’t think that they have understood the stake of this period and it doesn’t seen to me that their concern for the Delta is the number one concern for them”, Iohannis also said.
Romania vs. Ukraine: what’s going on with the Bystroye Canal?