Moldova President Wants Bulgaria Nuclear Transport to Resume

Views on BG | January 20, 2003, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Moldova's president Vladimir Voronin has promised he will work to allow consignments of nuclear waste to cross the country on their way from Bulgaria to Russia again, despite fierce opposition from local environmentalists.

In a joint declaration released Friday after talks here with Bulgarian president Georgy Parvanov, Voronin vowed he would ask Moldovan members of parliament to approve an 1999 agreement on the transit of nuclear waste.

The agreement, which was signed by five countries, must be approved annually to be operational.

The last time Moldova's parliament approved the agreement was in 1999 when the cash-strapped country earned 70,000 dollars/euros from a transit of nuclear waste from Bulgaria.

But further transit cargoes bound for re-processing in Russia were thwarted by violent protests from environmental groups.

They alleged the reprocessing centre in Russia was unsafe and was the site of a major nuclear accident in 1957 even more catastrophic than the Chernobyl explosion, the world's most notorious nuclear accident.

Bulgaria then responded by choosing transport routes for the nuclear waste that avoided Moldova, and even imposed visa restrictions on Moldovans entering the country.

However the number of Moldovan tourists visiting Bulgaria has since fallen by two-thirds.
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