Uruguay's Ministry of the Environment will fine the Finnish paper mill UPM after a spill of approximately one million liters from one of its plants located in the center of the country affected a watercourse that flows into the Río Negro. This event, according to official sources, occurred in August and was “accidental”.
Argentina reacted strongly and with a letter in harsh terms to Uruguay's decision to authorize Finland's UPM-Kymmene pulp mill to increase annual production by 8%. The letter addressed by Foreign minister Hector Timerman to his peer Luis Almagro informs Argentina will take the case to international tribunals and is currently 'reassessing' bilateral relations.
Argentina's clash with Uruguay over the Botnia/UPM pulp mill has led to furious retaliations from Buenos Aires severely limiting trade and not allowing Argentine exporters to make use of the port of Montevideo for transshipment.
The Uruguayan government announced it has renewed until 2016 Botnia/UPM pulp mill license so it can continue with production since it complies with the necessary environmental requisites and is committed to the additional standards demanded, said Housing and Environment minister Francisco Beltrame.
Uruguayan former president Jorge Batlle (2000/2005) said on Facebook that Argentina will again be a normal country when President Cristina Fernandez disappears from the political stage. And when this happens the Argentines are going to be happier and as a consequence so will we.
Argentina has made public its first retaliation against Uruguay over the Botnia/UPM pulp mill controversy and has banned Argentine exports from being trucked to Montevideo for shipment overseas. The resolution was published Tuesday in the Official Gazette and invokes maritime transport agreements in the framework of Mercosur.
The Uruguayan government rejected on Wednesday Argentina’s ultimatum referred to the UPM (former Botnia) pulp mill production expansion, and doubled the bet by proposing a reform of the shared River Uruguay Statute to increase environmental impact standards but also include both margins of the waterway.
In a formal presentation Argentina summoned Uruguay ‘to leave without effect’ its latest controversial decision allowing the Botnia/UPM pulp plant to increase its annual production and accused Uruguay of ‘unilateral violation’ of the River Uruguay statute which rules over the neighbouring countries shared-border waterway.
Residents from Gualeguaychú, Argentina confirmed that on Sunday they will attempt crossing an international bridge to Uruguay to protest the production expansion of the pulp mill Botnia/UPM, authorized by the government of President Jose Mujica. This despite the fact Uruguayan officials anticipated that at the most “eight or nine” Argentine officials and representatives from the protestors will be allowed to meet with their Uruguayan counterparts to discuss the situation.
Argentine President Cristina Fernández met on Monday with her Uruguayan counterpart José Mujica after the pair inaugurated a new vessel belonging to the ferry company Buquebús, (which joins Montevideo with Buenos Aires), in order to discuss matters related to the controversial UPM pulp plant formerly known as Botnia.