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 Donbas on verge of environmental disaster over flooded mines, - Minister Chernysh

шахта добыча уголь горняки руда шахтёр

Minister of temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons Vadym Chernysh believes the environmental issues of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions must be brought up for discussion at Minsk talks.

As reported by Censor.NET citing the statement by the ministry, the water level in the mines in the territory of the so-called " Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics " is critical and has almost reached the maximum allowable which requires immediate intervention.

Read more: Ukraine will not stop water supplies to separatist 'republics' for humanitarian motives, - Minister Chernysh

"The solution of environmental issues in the east needs good coordination between central and local authorities, as well as close cooperation with representatives of international organizations assessing and monitoring the situation. Specialized agencies in the first place must have an aggregate picture, analysis and risk assessment, and an action plan in case of emergency.

"The environmental issues of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions must definitely be tackled at the talks in Minsk. But first of all, we need to clarify the list of companies in the uncontrolled areas that require attention and access to international experts in order to prevent environmental and man-made disasters," Chernysh said.

Read more: Kyiv assessing environmental damage inflicted by Russian-backed militants in Donbas and Crimea, - Ecology Minister Semerak

It is noted that the Ukrainian authorities will now demand granting international experts immediate access to the flooded mines for pumping out the water. No one in the occupied territories properly monitors compliance with environmental norms and standards.

Moreover, it is extremely hard to make repairs at the enterprises near the demarcation line in the Donbas. Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group to resolve situation in Ukraine's east Iryna Herashchenko stressed that this issue was constantly being raised in Minsk, but Russia along with the "DPR"/"LPR" failed to guarantee security for repair crews so far.

Read more: OSCE recorded 750 percent increase in proscribed heavy weapons in separatist-held Donbas over last three months, - US Mission

"A number of enterprises stopped production due to the attacks committed by the illegal armed groups which can have significant negative consequences on the local residents and the environment," the lawmaker said.

It is also reported that 2.4 tons of liquid industrial chlorine is being stored at the Donetsk filtering station and if containers with liquid chlorine or chlorine pipeline are damaged, a possible release of toxic vapor can cause environmental pollution within a radius of 36 kilometers.
 
 
 
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