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. Oil spill in Russia an 'ecological catastrophe': experts

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Nov 11, 2007
Russian environmentalists warned Sunday that a 1,300-tonne fuel oil spill from a tanker smashed by high winds off the country's southern coast will cause an "ecological catastrophe".

"This is a major ecological catastrophe," Vladimir Slivyak, head of Ekozashchita, or Ecodefense, a Russian environmental group, was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

"The pollution that has taken place will have to be cleaned up for a long time to come and the consequences will be felt for a year or even more."

Sergei Baranovsky, head of Russia's Green Cross, another environmental group, said the sinking of two cargo ships carrying sulphur during the storm would also cause environmental damage.

"The scale of the ecological damage depends on the actions of the Emergency Situations Ministry and rescue workers but in any case it is a serious ecological catastrophe," Baranovsky was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

Yevgeny Shvarts, an environmental campaigner from the Russia section of WWF, said: "No-one knows yet how much fuel oil was spilled, but the risks of an ecological catastrophe really are very high."

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Storm smashes Russian oil tanker, causing 1,300-tonne spill
Moscow (AFP) Nov 11, 2007
Five-metre high waves smashed a Russian tanker in half on Sunday, spilling 1,300 tonnes of fuel oil into the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine, officials said.

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