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Argentina refutes Uruguay's "permission" allegation of paper mill building
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13:58, September 17, 2009

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Argentina rejected on Wednesday Uruguay's allegations that it had approved the setting up of a paper mill by Finnish firm Botnia on the Uruguayan side of the Uruguay River, which marks their shared border.

During the third day at the International Criminal Tribunal (ITC) in the Hague, the Netherlands, Argentine representatives said Uruguay had also failed to get the "social permission" -- a consultation with settlements on the river shore for the building of such plants.

Marcelo Kohen, an international law specialist, said Uruguay is attempting to state that there was consent by Argentina in the violation of article 7 of a 1975 river treaty between both countries regulating that the Uruguay River Administration Commission must be consulted on all works that could affect navigation, the river's management or its water quality.

"At no time did the states agree to waive the 1975 statute, as Uruguay is stating," he said.

Laurence Boisson, another international law expert, said Uruguay only began environmental studies once it had been granted authoritization for the plant, the reverse of the correct procedure.

Argentina began suing Uruguay in May 2006 when the plant was being built, and have been asserting since then that it was polluting the water of the Uruguay River.

The final verdict is expected no earlier than 2010.

Source: Xinhua

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