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To:
His Excellency Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania
Her Majesty Queen Margarethe II of Denmark
His Excellency Arnold Rüütel, President of the Republic of Estonia
Her Excellency Tarja Halonen, President of the Republic of Finland
His Excellency Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic
His Excellency Horst Kohler, President of the Federal Republic of Germany
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain
Her Excellency Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of the Republic of Latvia
His Majesty King Harald V of Norway
His Excellency Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of the Republic of Poland
His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
His Excellency George Bush, President of the United States of America
Mr. Josep Borrel Fontelles, President of the European Parliament
Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
His Excellency Tony Blair, the Prime Minister the UK and President of the European Council
Mr. Andres Taimla, President of the Baltic Assembly
Ms. Anne Christine Brusendorff, Executive Secretary of the Helsinki Commission

Cc:

His Excellency Gerhard Schröder, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation

This document will be sent to the parliament leaders, prime ministers and ministers of foreign affairs and the environment of the above mentioned states, members of European Parliament and mass media institutions of the states.

     S T A T E M E N T

     ON POTENTIAL ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES OF CONSTRUCTION
     AND EXPLOTATION OF THE GAS PIPELINE IN THE BALTIC SEA


Vilnius 12.10.2005

     On 29 May 2003, we, the undersigned, appealed to the President of the Russian Federation and the leaders of many states and the most prominent non-governmental organisations with regard to potential adverse consequences of the oil pool D-6 exploitation. The appeal stated that in the period 1947–1948 approximately 34 000 tons of military substances, yperite mainly, were burried in the Baltic Sea under orders from the military administration of the USSR in Germany. The largest amount of these substances, about 70 000 shells and 70 000 bombs, was burried in the region of Bornholm Island, in a 900 km2 area. A twice larger amount of ammunition was scattered and dumped in a sea area of 1200 km2, 65-70 miles to the southwest of Liepoja. About one tenth of the sea-burried ammunition is in the economic zone of Lithuania. Moreover, about 256 000 tons of chemical weapons were burried by the United States of America and Great Britain in the Skagerrak and Kategatt areas of the North Sea. The amount of toxic deep-six materials reaches six times more than mortal dose to every life form in the Baltic Sea. So far, no state has accepted the responsibility for potential danger and adverse consequences related to the burried substances.
     On 8 September 2005, the governments of the Russian Federation and the Federal Republic of Germany signed the agreement on the construction of the natural gas pipeline along the bottom of the baltic Sea. None of the Baltic states or responsible European institutions were offered to negotiate the agreement. A 80 million population lives by the Baltic Sea, therefore this agreement is of major public concern.
     A little mistake during the building or further exploitation of the gas pipeline running along the Baltic Sea floor can cause explosions of ammunition and the release of toxic substances resulting in deterioration of the state of the marine ecosystem, mass deaths and disease foci.
     The building of the gas pipeline will also have adverse ecological and environmental consequences. In the gas pipeline area, fauna and flora will be damaged or destroyed, fish spawning and feeging sites will become extinct, and a serious harm will be done to nature and fisheries.
     The Republic of Lithuania is deeply concerned about potential negative consequences of the Baltic Sea gas pipeline to the native population, because even the slightest mistake or accident will have a dramatic negative effect on the environment, marine flora and fauna, and people.
     No state has the right to seek profit at the expense of nature and other people’s health. All discussions of the issues relating to the seabed utilization for economic and other purposes should be preceded by signing an international document on responsibility acceptance for the weapons sunk at the bottom of the sea and the resultant consequences as well as for rendering these weapons harmless. In an effort to preserve uniqueness of the Baltic Sea, to prevent it from becoming a disaster area and ensure that all activities undertaken in the sea comply with the requirements of the international law, we request you to give the present situation your attention and undertake all possible measures to prevent the unilateral settlement of the issue of gas pipeline construction in the Baltic Sea. Environmental impact assessment must be carried out on the international level in accordance with the UN Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo convention), the Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (Helsinki convention) as well as deeds which are in force in the Baltic States and the European Union.
     Our organizations are ready to co-operate both with state and non-governmental organizations to ensure the observance of international requirements and the respect for people’s interests.The Baltic Sea is our common treasure and it has to be safeguarded. The above-mentioned transaction between the Russian Federation and the Federative Republic of Germany should receive legal assessment. We are convinced that parties to the above mentioned agreement must discuss the issues relating to the construction of this gas pipeline on the international level. What is more, construction work could be allowed only if the observance of the world-wide recognized environmental protection and management requirements and moral principles is guaranteed. We appeal to you for assistance in achieving these goals.

Respectfully,

President of the Alliance of Associations ,,Žuvininkų rūmai“, Corresp. Member of the Lithuanian
Academy of Sciences

Prof. habil. dr. Juozas Virbickas

Director of Institute of Ecology, Vilnius University, Corresp. Member of the Lithuanian Academy
of Sciences

Habil. dr. Mečislovas Žalakevičius

Director of Coastal Research and Planning Institute, Klaipeda University
Doc. dr. Artūras Razinkovas

Head of the Department of Botany and Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Vilnius University
Prof. habil. dr. Jonas Naujalis

Director of Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics
Dr. Romualdas Zemeckis

Chairman of the Lithuanian Association of Producers of Fish Products
Alfonsas Bargaila

Chairman of the Confederation of Fishermen and Fish Processors of West Lithuania
Algirdas Aušra

Chairman of the Association of Fishery Enterprises ,,Lampetra”
Virginijus Domarkas

President of Commercial Fishery Association Gintautas Morkevičius

Board Member of „Atgaja“ Community“ Linas Vainius

President of Lithuanian Nature Society Prof. habil. dr. Algirdas Gaigalas

President of the Lithuanian Hydrobiologists Society Dr. Eugenija Milerienė

Professor of Natural Sciences Faculty of Vilnius Pedagogical University
Prof. habil. dr. Petras Kurlavičius

Executive Director of Lithuanian Nature Fund Doc.dr. Pranas Mierauskas

Chairman of the Lithuanian Movement Sajudis Council
Rytas Kupčinskas

Chairman of Lithuanian Architects’ Association Prof. Vytautas Jurgis Dičius

Director of Vilnius Castles State Cultural Reserve Audronė Kasperavičienė

Director of Lithuanian Art Museum Romualdas Budrys

Vice-president of the Alliance of Associations ,,Žuvininkų rūmai“, Chairman of Public Commission
Leonas Kerosierius

Address: Leonas Kerosierius, Erfurto St. 46-64, LT-04102 Vilnius, Lithuania,
Tel/fax +370 5 231 81 11, e-mail leonaske@takas.lt

 

 
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