Oil Spill Reported Off Crimea

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By MarEx 2016-05-16 21:09:18

The Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology has reported an oil spill in the vicinity of Sevastopol, on the Black Sea, a contested area claimed by both Ukraine and the Russian-controlled government of Crimea.

"In the Black Sea near Sevastopol there was an accident with leakage of oil into the sea. Regional units of the Ministry of Environment and DSNS are doing everything possible to clarify the situation, to understand weather effects, and to avoid or minimize damage. At a cabinet meeting today I was informed about this situation, and asked the Prime Minister to send a note of protest to the government [controlling] Ukrainian Crimea. The Cabinet of Ministers supported the proposal," said Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak in a social media post.

Ukraine's foreign ministry has reportedly lodged a request with Russian authorities requesting additional information. 

The spill occurred sometime on May 8, but present the location of origin, cause, and volume are not known with precision. 

In a letter, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry expressed "deep concern about reports of the oil spill in the Black Sea near the city of Sevastopol temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which took place in early May and has led to significant pollution," it wrote, as reported by environmental advocacy group Green4Sea. "Ukraine . . . has sovereign rights in the maritime areas temporarily occupied by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea [and] has the right to request from other States to adhere to their obligations to prevent and overcome pollution."

The ministry reported pollution on the beaches of the north side of Sevastopol from the tourist destination of Cape Fiolent up to Belbek.   

Ukrainian media outlet 112UA reports that the last oil spill in the area was in October 2015.