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Reinfeldt seeks answers on Russian dumping

AFP/The Local · 5 Feb 2010, 06:55

Published: 05 Feb 2010 06:55 GMT+01:00

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Swedish public television SVT reported on Wednesday that between 1991 and 1994 Russia dumped chemical weapons and radioactive waste off the shores of Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea.

The network also said the Social Democrat government that came into power in 1994 was informed of the dumping by military intelligence in the late 1990s, but failed to act on the information.

The current centre-right government "didn't know" about the issue, Reinfeldt's spokeswoman Roberta Alenius told AFP.

"This is new information for the (current) government. What we are saying is that questions should be directed at the previous governments," she said.

According to SVT, the wasted dumped in Swedish waters came from the giant Karosta naval base in the Latvian port city of Liepaja.

Sven Olof Pettersson, an advisor to former foreign minister Anna Lindh, a Social Democrat, told SVT that Lindh knew about the dumping and called in vain for a public inquiry on the matter.

She was murdered by Mijailo Mijailovic, a mentally unstable man, in 2003.

Current foreign minister Carl Bildt, who was Sweden's prime minister while the dumping was taking place, said Thursday he had not been informed it was happening.

Story continues below…

Bildt headed a centre-right government from 1991 to 1994. The Social Democrats then took over until 2006.

A summit of heads of state of countries bordering the Baltic Sea was to take place in Helsinki Wednesday to try to solve the problems of one of the world's most polluted seas.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is due to attend.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:10 February 5, 2010 by peropaco
And what will he do with those answers? Obviously noone expected the useless social democrats to do anything about it.
09:49 February 5, 2010 by karex
I have always thought that finding a "mentally unstable" scapegoat to dump sole responsibility for Anna Lindh's death to be rather suspicious - its was too "tidy". Looks like there could be grounds for a "motive" for an assasination if the above is true. She may have rubbed some dangerous cats the wrong way. This would also mean a much bigger network involved and of course everyone's favorite word: possble conspiracy.
09:58 February 5, 2010 by morchad
Someone....needs to stand up to the Russians, they are probably the worst environmental offenders in the world.....oil-pipeline leaks that can be seen from outer-space.....dumping toxic waste in the Baltic....has anyone seen pictures from Nikel (near Norwegian border) - the whole landscape has been destroyed by Nikel-mining, my brother -in-law worked in Norway at the border and he said it looks like a warzone.

They are barbaric in their contempt for nature & the environment... i.e. government ( I have a few super Russian friends)
10:55 February 5, 2010 by pintoflex
Maybe that's why there's so many cancer cases in Gotland?

Has anyone looked into this?
13:20 February 5, 2010 by Audrian
There is no need for the PM to ask why Russia is dumping toxing material off the cost of Sweden for two reasons:

(1) Why do west European companies from Italy, Holand and the like dump toxic material in Africa's coast line as well as in the continent itself? The reason is to avoid paying cost of treatment or toxit substances. It is greed. The argument is the same as that forwarded in global warming.

(2) Russia is a capitalist country. Most companies are privately owned. The Swedish government should bring these companies to task.
14:02 February 5, 2010 by Jan M
Ruusia dumps waste in the Baltic. Reinfeldt once answers in from Social Democrats!!!!???

If Zlatan fails to score any more goals this season will the Moderates be asked for an explanation? This is complete garbage and petty political nonsense of the worst kind. How about asking the Russians for an explanation or would that be too logical? How anyone can expect someone who tackles a problem like this to be an effective PM acting in the best interests of Sweden as a whole I have no idea.
14:22 February 5, 2010 by rumcajs
Same old horse, same old race. One party wanna get voter throwing crap on the other, not doing anyrthing good themselves.
14:25 February 5, 2010 by hjoian
obviously it is the swedish way not to ask the people who have the answers in case they get offended and react in an aggressive manner......
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