Chemical weapons in Baltic Sea an ‘urgent threat’

A group of MEPs has called on Brussels to take action to tackle the issue of the chemical and conventional weapons laying dormant on the Baltic seabed.

“We express our deep concern about the threat that is still posed by chemical and conventional weapons sunk into the Baltic Sea after World War II,” 39 MEPs said in a letter addressed to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The letter was initiated by Polish MEP Anna Fotyga and was signed by four of her Lithuanian counterparts: Petras Auštrevičius, Aušra Maldeikienė, Juozas Olekas, and Andrius Kubilius.

“It is one of the main causes of pollution in the Baltic Sea, and one of the most dangerous, as the effects of corrosion and leaks go beyond the borders of one country, threaten health and security, with economic, social, health and environmental consequences,” the letter reads.

Earlier in March,  Ukrainian intelligence warned that the laying of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on the Baltic seabed may disrupt the chemical weapons discarded near Denmark’s Bornholm Island.

To mitigate the risk, Russian officials have supplied the ships with atropine, a medication used to treat certain types of nerve agent poisonings. However, the risk remains due to the ships staying in position using anchors, which may cause damage, the intelligence said.

However, the MEPs did not mention the risks associated with the construction of Nord Stream 2.

According to the letter, the EU should include funding in the upcoming multiannual budget to tackle the problem and initiate a plan on how to remove these weapons from the Baltic Sea.

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