Ukraine to charge Russian ship-owners for oil spill

March 19th, 2008 - 5:54 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Somferopol (Ukraine), March 19 (RIA Novosti) Ukraine Wednesday said it plans to charge Russian ship-owners over $1 billion in damages for a November fuel oil spill in the Kerch Strait. Four vessels and an oil tanker sank Nov 11 during a storm in the Kerch Strait, which joins the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Some 2,000 tonnes of fuel oil spilled into the sea as a result of the accident. Experts said petrochemical concentrations in the strait following the storm were 50 times higher than maximum permissible levels.

Some 50,000 birds have so far died as a result of the oil slick. The fuel penetrates birds’ plumage causing hypothermia (or loss of body heat), and is ingested, usually with fatal results.

Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov claimed in December that all traces of November’s disaster in the Kerch Strait had been eliminated, but Greenpeace said the consequences of fuel spill in the strait could take up to a decade to be eliminated.

Crimea, an autonomous region under the Ukrainian government has allocated two million hryvna ($400,000) for disposal of spilled fuel collected in the Kerch Strait.
RIA Novosti

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