Romania continues its pressure at the international level on the Bistroe channel in an attempt to determine Ukraine to comply with international norms. The last warning was issued during the Aarhus Convention and a deadline was imposed: January 1, 2009. However, the question is whether this is just another warning to be ignored by Ukrainian officials.

Romania's Foreign Affairs minister declared on Monday that the Bistroe channel is on the Aarhus Convention agenda, held on June 11-13, 2008. A press release of the institution reads that if Ukraine fails to cease its works on the Channel by January 2009, the warning will enter into force.

Thus, Ukraine needs to take up a series of measures meant to involve both Ukrainians and affected states in the decision making process. Foreign Ministry officials explained for that Ukraine needed to adopt an action plan. The document should contain regulations on the procedures undertaken to consult the public involved. Moreover, the action plan will have to include activities to strengthen its institutional capacity.

If Ukraine fails to deliver this, sanctions will be enforced. Thus, Ukraine could lose some rights offered within the Convention from total to partial loss of voting rights. At the international level, the warning is another negative signal against Ukraine in the sense that Ukrainian officials fail to act with responsibility. Which could cause the loss of many international financial aids.

However, at the Convention, the Ukrainian delegation promised to fulfill its mission in the case of Bistroe but it did not mention the methods it plans to take on. In this vein, former Ukrainian Foreign minister Boris Tarasiuk has told in an interview that Romanians have no idea what authorities are trying to hide behind this issue.

Tarasiuk pointed out that there are important economic reasons which pushes Romania to take such a tough stand on this problem. Moreover, he added that Romanian authorities worry in fact that they will lose a big part of their profits and that they do not actually care about environmental issues.