Ukraine’s Construction of a Navigation Canal on the Chilia Arm of the Danube River
On the 12th of May, 2004, Romanian Ministry of Environment and Waters
Management has sent a letter to the Committee of State of Ukraine for Water Management in which it was asked, in compliance with articles 2 and 4 of the Bilateral Agreement between the Ukrainian Government and Romanian Government on Cooperation in the Field of Transboundary Waters Management, to be informed and consulted regarding the Bystroe project and to receive data on the planned measures. On May 2004, after the formal launching of the canal construction, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania and the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Waters Management have sent letters to the Secretary of the Espoo Convention in order to be submitted to the Implementation Committee of this Convention, for consideration. The content of the letters expressed the fact that Romania has requested to be notified by Ukraine on the proposed project to be constructed in the Ukrainian Danube Delta. In this respect, a recommendation from the Implementation Committee has been requested.
The Bystroe issue was formally raised by the head of the Romanian delegation at the Third Meeting of the Parties to the Espoo Convention (Cavtat, Croatia, 1st-4th of June 2004). On this occasion, during the plenary session, the Secretary of the Convention has asked the Implementation Committee to take the appropriate measures in this case.
Letters on the Bystroe matter were sent by the Romanian Prime-Minister, Mr. Adrian Nastase to: the Ukrainian Prime-Minister, Mr. Viktor Yanukovici; to the President of the European Commission, Mr. Romano Prodi; to the European Commissioner for Enlargement, Mr. Gunter Verheugen; to the Commissioner for the Environment of the European Commission, Mrs. Margot Wallstrom; and to the Prime-Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Mr. Bertie Ahren. Other letters in this respect were also sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ramsar Secretariat, UNESCO MAB Programme and to the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention.
In March-April 2004 the Romanian Parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe proposed a draft resolution on the Bystroe canal which was signed by many other delegations.
At the beginning of May 2004, the Governor of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation has asked the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention, the Secretariat of the Programme "Man and Biosphere" - MAB UNESCO, and the center for World Heritage -UNESCO ( the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation- Romania, as well as Danube Biosphere Reservation Ukraine are falling under the provisions of the 3 conventions above mentioned) to support the Romanian request regarding the accomplishment of the environmental impact study and to respect the provisions of
these legal instruments.