MFA: Romania does not agree to Ukraine dredging the Bystroye Canal

The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send to the European Commission Romania’s position, which opposes Ukraine’s intention to carry out dredging works on the Bystroye Canal, the diplomacy from Bucharest announces in a statement. The Ministry specifies that it has not received any information from any Romanian authority that work is currently being done to deepen the Bystroye Canal and reiterates Romania’s position, which does not agree with the proposal to include the Chilia and Bystroye branches of the Danube in the trans-European network transport (TEN-T).

“With reference to the information that recently appeared in the Romanian press regarding the carrying out by the Ukrainian authorities of deepening works of the so-called “Bystroye navigation channel”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) specifies that, prior to the appearance of this public information, it was not informed by any competent Romanian authority regarding the conduct of such activities by Ukraine.

Following the publication of the aforementioned public information, the MAE requested, on February 13, the Administration of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve to transmit the most complete and up-to-date information regarding possible activities carried out by the Ukrainian side in the sector of the “Bystroye navigation channel” and the institution’s evaluation regarding their impact, and subsequently the MAE also requested the Romanian Border Police to transmit the information resulting from the monitoring of the activities carried out by the Ukrainian authorities or their contractors in the “Bystroye navigation channel” sector, as well as the evaluation of their character.

Depending on the answers of the relevant Romanian authorities, the MAE will immediately take the necessary diplomatic steps if it turns out that activities aimed at deepening the navigation route were carried out“, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also adds that the European Commission has asked the Romanian authorities for a point of view regarding Ukraine’s request to include the Chilia and Bystroye branches of the Danube in the trans-European transport network (TEN-T), but rejects as untrue “the public information according to which The commission would have requested, through this approach, Romania’s agreement for the deepening of the so-called “Bystroye navigation channel”.

According to the press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent both the European Commission and the Ukrainian authorities last year that “the Romanian authorities do not agree with the proposal to include the Chilia and Bystroye branches of the Danube in the TEN-T (proposal whose realization is pursued by Ukraine since 2014), as it is necessary for the navigation channel project carried out by Ukraine to strictly comply with applicable international law provisions, including and especially environmental protection regulations”.

The Romanian Minister of Transport, Sorin Grindeanu, declared on Wednesday, in a press conference, that there are signals that Ukraine is currently dredging the Bystroye canal, something that could have an impact on the environment and the Danube Delta, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Ministry of the Environment must come up with a position and inform.

The Deepwater Navigation Course “Danube – Black Sea” is a deep-water canal in the Danube Delta that runs through the Danube Delta distributaries Chilia, Old Istambul and “Bystroe” or “Bystre”. Through most of its length it coincides with the Romanian-Ukrainian border that stretches along Danube.

A portion of the canal, Bystroe, which stretches through the territory of Ukraine rather than along the main course raised concerns in Romania which emphasized ecological issues as it stretches through the Ukrainian Biosphere Reserve “Danube Delta”.

Bystroye CanalDanubedanube deltadredgingenvironmentimpactMFARomaniaromanian ministry of foreign affairsukraine
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