STRASBOURG, France May 30 Britain and the
United States should reveal the location of chemical munitions
seized from Nazi Germany at the end of World War Two and dumped
in the Baltic Sea, the Council of Europe said on Friday.
The human rights watchdog said the exact location of the
dumps, a military secret, should be made public to ensure that
environmental risks connected with a planned underwater gas
pipeline between Russia and Germany can be properly assessed.
A report presented to the Council of Europe assembly says
the Allies seized 300,000 tonnes of chemical munitions from
Germany at the end of the war and dumped them in the Baltic Sea,
in some cases in waters only a few dozen metres deep.
The report says the military secret was supposed to be
lifted after 50 years but Britain and the United States, which
had taken possession of most of the stocks, decided in 1997 to
keep details secret for a further 20 years.
The Russia-Germany gas pipeline, which will run along the
Baltic seabed, will be built by the Nord Stream consortium in
which Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM) holds a majority stake. Work is
expected to begin in 2009.
The Council of Europe seeks to promote democratic principles
throughout the continent, based on the European Convention on
Human Rights and other statutes on the protection of
(Reporting by Gilbert Reilhac, writing by Estelle Shirbon,
editing by Mary Gabriel)