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Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma inaugurates the Bystraya canal

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma inaugurated the Bystraya canal in the Ukrainian part of the Danube River Delta on 26 August. After the inauguration, Kuchma told journalists that international criticism of the Ukrainian canal project was motivated by "political and economic" reasons rather than environmental.

International criticism of the Bystraya canal project primarily focused on its potential damage to the Danube Delta's unique ecosystem. By opening the Bystraya canal, Ukraine has broken Romania's monopoly on navigation in the Danube Delta.