07:08 GMT +325 November 2017

    Russia may sue China for toxic spill damages - MP

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    MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia might sue China for damages in connection with the toxic leak caused by a chemicals blast in the northeastern province of Jilin November 13, a Russian lawmaker said Friday.

    Viktor Shudegov, Chair of the Environment, Education and Science Committee in the Federation Council, parliament's upper house, said Beijing must compensate Russia for the damage caused by the accident at its Jilin chemical plant.

    He said "Russia should file specific lawsuits" with international courts of justice.

    The lawmaker warned that the contamination of the Amur River as a result of a cancer-causing benzene spill into its Chinese tributary, Songhua, would inflict severe damage on the eco-system of Russia's Far East and necessitate cutoffs of drinking water to millions of residents.

    Shudegov also stressed the importance of quickly passing a federal bill on compulsory insurance against environmental hazards, currently being drafted by his committee.

    If the bill becomes law, he said, it is insurance companies, not regional governments, that will have to cover expenses arising from environmental hazards.

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