Romania Danube shippers to sue government, Nato

BUCHAREST, Feb 16, 2000 -- (Reuters) The association of Romanian river shippers said on Tuesday it would sue the Romanian government and NATO over a total estimated loss of $90 million because of the Kosovo conflict.

Association president Mircea Toader said the losses had been caused by the embargo on Yugoslavia after the Kosovo war and by the blockage of the Danube.

Toader, who was speaking at the end of a meeting in the Danube port town of Galati, said the association - representing 95 percent of Romania's river shippers - voted to ask the Romanian state for damages worth $5.4 million for lost crude oil transport contracts during the embargo.

The association also announced plans to sue the North Atlantic Treaty Organization over alleged losses indirectly caused by the bombing of Yugoslav bridges.

River traffic on the Danube is running at less than 25 percent of its full capacity at present, latest association data showed.

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