U.S. offers to help Russia following major Arctic oil spill

U.S. offers to help Russia following major Arctic oil spill
© Belga

The United States on Saturday offered to help Russia following a major oil spill into an Arctic river and surrounding areas.

“Despite our disagreements, the United States stands ready to assist Russia to mitigate this environmental disaster and offer our technical expertise,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a message on Twitter.

On 29 May, a diesel tank at a thermal power plant owned by mining giant Norilsk Nickel collapsed near the Arctic town of Norilsk, spilling 15,000 tonnes of fuel into the waters of the nearby Ambarnaya River and 6,000 tonnes onto the surrounding lands.

The spill, visible from space, is the worst ecological disaster of its kind in the region.

Efforts by Russia’s emergency services to mitigate the disaster have been complicated by logistical challenges: the area is hard to reach, the river is shallow, which hampers operations by boat, and the area is swampy in Spring.

On Friday, one week after the spill began, Russian authorities said they had finally contained it.

The Brussels Times

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