Follow through on Baltic promises says Sweden

An archive photo from 1999 of a ship moving through an algal bloom in the Baltic. The algae steals oxygen from other organisms who need it, and sewage and fertilizers contribute to the algae's growth. (Kustbevakningen/SCANPIX)Sweden’s environment minister Lena Ek is critical of countries who have not made good on promises to improve the condition of the Baltic Sea, according to Swedish news agency TT.

Ek, of the Center party, represented Sweden at the Baltic Sea Summit, led by the Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev in Saint Petersburg on Friday, a follow-up to the 2010 summit in Helsinki.

Industrial agriculture is behind a lot of the pollution going into the Baltic, says Ek, adding that Poland, the Baltic countries and the Russian exclave Kaliningrad, have much work to do, especially when it comes to sewage treatment.

“In that regard, Russia was self-critical,” she says, adding that many Russians now seem to have the same emotional engagement that Swedes do when it comes to Baltic Sea issues, and that that was promising.

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