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Romanian Boats Patrolling The Danube

14 October 2004 -- Romania has deployed 13 more vessels in the Danube to guard its border with Ukraine after Ukrainian boats illegally crossed into Romania four times this month.

Aurel Neagu, the head of Romania's border police, said today his country would not allow such violations and added Romanian officials had already contacted Ukraine regarding the matter.

Neagu said border officials from both countries have met to discuss the border violations and decided to improve cooperation.

Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent months after Ukraine announced it was starting work on a new navigable route in the north of the Danube delta by widening and deepening a small canal.

Ukrainian and Romanian environmentalists as well as the European Union have called on the Ukrainian government to halt the work, saying it threatens the ecosystem.