Hungary, neighbors agree on environmental cooperation

Budapest, Apr 5, 2000 -- (RFE/RL) The Environmental Ministers of Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Hungary met in Budapest on 3 April to sign an agreement on preventing future transnational ecological disasters.

The four countries will pinpoint potential sources of ecological damage, involve international experts in damage assessment, and form joint monitoring teams. Romanian Environmental Minister Romica Tomescu, however, rejected a proposal for "integrated pollution prevention and regional development."

His Hungarian counterpart, Pal Pepo, said the Romanian state's responsibility in the recent cyanide spill cannot be avoided. "According to our laws, the polluter pays, but there is nothing about the Romanian state's responsibility in any bilateral international agreement," Tomescu replied.

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