From: Associated Press
Published November 24, 2005 12:00 AM

Ministers Gather in Sweden for Baltic Sea Environment Meeting

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Officials from the Baltic Sea countries gathered in Stockholm on Wednesday to discuss plans to fight marine pollution.


Sweden's Environment Minister Lena Sommestad hosted the event, which also included representatives from Finland, Denmark, Russia, Germany, the Baltic countries and Poland. Officials from the European Union and Britain, which holds the rotating EU presidency, as well as Austria, which will take over the presidency next year, also attended the one-day meeting at the Haga castle just north of Stockholm.


"I want to make the Baltic Sea a pilot area where we by ambitious commitments can move ahead of the rest of the EU and show the way with aggressive environmental work," Sommestad said.


She regretted that Russia only sent an embassy official and not someone on a higher level.


"But this is unfortunately an experience we have in the cooperation with Russia. This happens quite often and makes the cooperation more difficult, not only where this meeting is concerned, but also at a number of other meetings," she said.


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The Baltic Sea has suffered from heavy pollution and toxic algae because of growing ship traffic and more oil transports, as well as fertilizers and other chemicals from the agricultural sector.


Source: Associated Press


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