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6 Jun, 2008 12:17

Chinese chemical spill concerns Putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has instructed the country’s Emergencies Ministry to closely monitor the situation at the Russia-China border, following a chemical spill that's killed three people in the Chinese province of Hei-Long-Jiang.

The leak happened some 400 kilometers from the border with the Russian Federation.

According to local authorities the leak was caused by the explosion of World War II ammunition.

Russian Natural Resources Minister, Yuri Trutnev said the Chinese side has not yet provided Russia with the information on the accident.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any official information from our Chinese colleagues. It’s a violation of the agreement signed between Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and China’s Environmental Committee. We’ve sent a note to China and hope to receive a reply soon,” Trutnev said.

It’s not the first incidence of a chemical spill in the region.

In November 2005, a large toxic spill poisoned the Songhua River carrying contaminated water into Russian territory. It caused considerable environmental damage along Russia's Amur River.

The incident strained relations between the countries as it took several days for China to inform Russia about the spill.