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Euromaidan Press
16 Dec 2023
Orysia Hrudka

Ukraine and Romania resolve 20-Year dispute over Danube-Black Sea canal

The agreement paves the way for the realization of the strategic canal project, underscoring both nations’ commitment to international cooperation and environmental responsibility.

Ukraine and Romania have successfully settled a prolonged dispute concerning the construction of the “Danube-Black Sea” deep-water navigation route, where Bucharest had raised concerns about Kyiv’s environmental norm violations. Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ruslan Strilets announced the breakthrough on Saturday via Facebook, as reported by “European Truth.”

Minister Strilets recalled that the dispute centered on Ukraine’s commitments under the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention). The resolution was achieved conclusively on the sidelines of the 9th Meeting of the Parties to the Espoo Convention in Geneva.

“We have done our homework and overcome a long journey to align the project with the requirements of the Convention. Ukraine values good neighborly relations and compliance with international law. We want and can find common ground and rectify past mistakes,” emphasized Strilets.

The interstate dispute regarding the “Danube-Black Sea” canal, stretching through the Kiliya and Stambulul (Bistre) estuaries in the Danube Delta, has persisted since 2004 when Ukraine initiated experimental canal navigation.

Opposition came from the European Commission and Romania, citing the nature conservation status of the delta and the absence of an assessment of the impact of navigation on the environment.

To address the dispute, in January 2005, a Commission of Inquiry was established based on the Espoo Convention to form a scientifically substantiated opinion on the potential consequences of transboundary impacts during the implementation and use of the “Danube-Black Sea” canal.

Earlier this year, Romania sought explanations from Ukraine regarding hydro-technical works in the Kiliya Canal.