Belgrade demands compensation from Romania over cyanide spill

BELGRADE, Jul 12, 2000 -- (AFP) Yugoslavia is demanding two million dollars (euros) in compensation from Romania and an Australian company which owns a gold mine that caused the January cyanide spill into the Tisza river, state agency Tanjug reported Tuesday.

Belgrade is demanding the compensation for damages caused by pollution in the part of the Tisza on its territory, following the cyanide spill from the Romania-based gold mine, Yugoslav state attorney Milos Bojovic told the agency.

The demand was submitted to a Belgrade court and Bojovic insisted that Romania was "responsible" for the work of any company on its territory.

Bojovic said a settlement was possible if Romania "accepts its responsibility and express readiness to compensate the damage."

The mine, owned by the Australian Esmeralda Exploration company, was closed immediately after the spill.

The spill has been reported as causing serious pollution along the Tisza, which runs through Romania, Hungary and Yugoslavia.

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