Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (epa)
13 December 2005 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao today met and agreed to work together on eliminating the damage from a toxic spill in a river in China that is now floating to the Russian border.
Putin, speaking to reporters after the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, said he and Wen have agreed to work not only to clear pollution damage, but also to work more closely to protect the environment in the future.
Wen has apologized for the 13 November chemical factory accident in Jilin province that resulted in tons of the industrial solvent benzene being dumped into the Songhua River, which flows into the Russian region's Amur River.
The slick is now less than 100 kilometers from the Russian border city of Khabarovsk.
The Putin-Wen meeting came on the sidelines of a meeting in the Malaysian capital of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
A slick of toxic benzene and other chemicals is moving from China's Songhua River toward the Amur River in Russia's Far East. Russian authorities fear the consequences when the 80-kilometer-long toxic slick reaches the city of Khabarovsk, which relies on the Amur for its water supply.
Officials say supplies of clean water and filtering charcoal are being stockpiled in Khabarovsk. Russian authorities have warned that more than 1 million people living along the Amur could be affected by the contaminants. The spill is the result of an explosion on November 13, 2005, at a Chinese chemical plant in the city of Jilin....(more)
After Chinese Toxic Spill, Russian Environmentalists Raise Concerns About Ecological Policy