Socio-ecological Union
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Ukrainian authorities want to remove uneasy Danube reserve director before the international dialogue starts

As we already informed, on November 2 Danube Transport Prosecutors representatives raided the Danube Reserve office and seized all documents and three computers. Formal cause for these actions was bringing a case against Danube reserve staff. The accusations were misuse of budget funds and abuse of power.

There were previous attempts to silence the opposition to the canal project, but this was the most serious one.

One may assume that the reason for that were the negotiations that happened in the end of October on 18 session UNESCO MAB program. ( Ukranian delegation presented these negotiations as a success for navogable canal project. We do not have any confirmation from UNESCO about positive perseption of Ukrainina delegation proposals, but such approval would lead only to further destruction of the reserve and rights abuse in Ukraine. We must note that Ukrainian delgation wasone-sided and consisted of those in favor of canal. Danube reserve administration was noteven informed about proposals taken to the session.

Among other proposal, Ukraine put on the table idea of joint sessions for furhter conservation action of two adminstrations of the bilateral Danube reserve - Romanian and Ukrainian, and a large conference on Danube delta in Ukraine in December.

These two ideas sound good, except for the fact that this is not affacting the main problem -continued canal construction, without real assesment and monitoring. Ukraine has already breached agreements that were set about the months ago - to do the real assesment of the second stage and to do consultations with public, including the groups opposed to the project.

Instead of fullfillment of the promises, Ukrainian authorities are now trying to get rid of the Danube reserve administration. If the international dialogwould start with participation of current DBR director Alexander Voloshkevich, the truth about the situation in the Danube delta will be brought up on official level, and no room for lies would be left. Current comfortable for Ukrainian delegation, when it consists only of canal supporters would change for rather uneasy one - when every word of lie would be called a lie by those, who serves and protects the Danube reserve.

This attempt to create visibility of internation dialogue without real changes of situatio is a true reason for resent Prosecutor's actions against the Danube reserve.

In this situation, in our opinion, EU, UNESCO, other international entities should condemn the resent action of Ukraine and to demand observation of the previous aggreements and to stop the rights abuse in Ukranine, to immediately stop the prosecution of the Danube reserve administration. It seems that Ukrainian authorities understand only one language - the language of ultimatum, and therefore all Ukrainian negotiations counterparts should be more firm in their demands. It should be stated that the only possible Danube reserve representative at the negotiations should be current Danube reserve administration.

Dear friends, we ask you to use this information and to address your EU deputies and UNESCO MAB and to demand stronger position in negotiations with Ukraine. Expressing your posiotion to Ukrainian Embassy in your country will be also very helpful - as Ukranian Foreign affairs minister leads the public misinformation campaign.

Please also send your letters to EU
commissionars: to EU Enlargement Commissioner Gunther Verheugen,
and Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom:

Sincerely yours
Olga Zakharova, International Socio-ecological Union
Sergey Shaparenko , EcoGroup Pechenegi

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