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  Saturday, November 28, 2020
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China has apologized to Russia for a chemical spill that contaminated a major river
China has apologized to Russia for a chemical spill that contaminated a major river, a source in the Russian delegation at an Asian summit said Monday. Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao offered his country's apologies at a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin after a working breakfast for delegates attending a Malaysia summit between Russia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). The Chinese premier said his country was fully prepared for comprehensive cooperation with Russia to eliminate the consequences of the spill, which saw about 100 metric tons of potentially lethal chemicals dumped into the Songhua River, a tributary of the Amur, after an explosion at a Chinese petrochemical plant November 13. "I have just discussed the contamination of the Amur with the Chinese premier," Putin said. "We agreed on joint work to eliminate the consequences of the disaster and on joint efforts in the future to protect the environment." The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said that, according to its pessimistic scenario, the concentration of toxic nitrobenzene, which is thought to present a danger to the liver among other things, would not exceed the permissible level by more than 1.5 times when the spill reached the Amur. The toxic slick could reach the Jewish Autonomous Area on December 15-16 and the Khabarovsk Territory on December 23-26, the ministry said.
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