27 April 2021
The European Parliament has adopted an initiative of the ECR Group as a resolution, calling on the European Union to commit to clearing the Baltic Sea of WWII shipwrecks and chemical weapons. The project, initiated by the ECR MEPs Kosma Złotowski and Anna Fotyga, was supported by 660 MEPs, with 8 votes against and 25 abstentions.
Speaking after the vote, Kosma Złotowski said:
“By adopting this resolution, the European Parliament confirmed that the problem of chemical weapons lying on the bottom of the Baltic Sea has an international dimension and can only be solved thanks to the cooperation of national governments, the European Union and NATO. Of course, we need financial resources and research into technologies for the safe removal and utilization of harmful substances from the seabed. For a very long time, countries such as Poland or the Baltic states were forced to look for solutions on their own, even though the pollution of the Baltic Sea was the result of political decisions by the Allies and the actions of the occupying troops.
“It is Russia and Germany that bear the greatest responsibility for the present state of affairs, and we expect greater commitment from these governments. The Baltic Sea has enormous economic potential, which cannot be fully exploited without clearing the bottom of ammunition, wrecks full of fuel or chemical weapons tanks. This is a serious challenge for, among others, the process of building wind farms.
“I hope that this resolution, adopted by an overwhelming majority and beyond political divisions, will motivate the European Commission to find additional funds to clean the bottom of the Baltic Sea.”
Anna Fotyga added:
“I am glad that we managed to obtain the support of the entire Parliament for such an important matter. The resolution contains all the demands that we have been striving for. I know that the European Commission, in which we have been intervening for a long time, will prepare a study to comprehensively answer our appeals, including mapping dumped chemical weapons, coordinating activities and response procedures, and developing the best methods of munitions clearance. I received assurance from the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in response to a letter initiated by me, signed by 39 MEPs from 15 Member States, calling to deal with the problem of unexploded ordnance and chemical weapons dumped at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.”
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