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18 Mar 2016

Belarus-Poland water management cooperation agreement to be ready soon

MINSK, 18 March (BelTA) – Belarus and Poland will finish drafting the agreement on cooperation in water resources management in the near future, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Igor Kachanovsky said on 18 March at a press conference to mark the upcoming International World Water Day, BelTA has learned.

“We have been working on the draft agreement on cooperation in water management for several years by submitting proposals to the competent Polish ministry and considering the ideas Poland has been coming up with. We came to an agreement during my visit in August 2015. Now the document is going through the final edits,” Igor Kachanovsky explained.

He added that the competent Belarusian authorities will meet with Polish colleagues in the near future. “The meeting will be organized at the level of the international departments of the two ministries. No specific date has been fixed yet, as we need to update several documents on cooperation in different fields, not only in water management,” Igor Kachanovsky noted.

He said that Belarus and Poland are developing a number of projects for monitoring and clean-up of the Bug River. “The matter is of much concern to the Polish side. We discuss cooperation in monitoring the quality of water in the river, the water level dynamics, and border-related issues. Islands and changes in the river bed are also an issue of particular concern since the Bug River marks the border between Belarus and Poland. Our projects address all of these issues,” Igor Kachanovsky pointed out.

A number of projects are implemented by the local agencies of Belarus’ Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast at the regional level. “There are some regional projects for monitoring small rivers and the state of the water treatment facilities,” the official said.

Igor Kachanovsky added that the Belarusian Natural Resources Ministry is preparing proposals for cooperation with the Polish side for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The proposals will be ready soon.

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