Languages
Page last updated at 16:14 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 17:14 UK

Uruguay can continue paper mill operations, court rules

View of the Finnish-built paper mill
The plant built by Finnish firm Botnia can continue working

Uruguay should have informed Argentina about its plans to build two paper mills on the banks of a river they share, the UN's top court has ruled.

But the International Court of Justice in The Hague said Uruguay had not violated its environmental obligations and the mill can continue working.

Only one mill was built but the dispute has simmered for several years.

Argentina argues the mill is polluting the river, while Uruguay says it adheres to strict environmental codes.

Argentina lodged a complaint before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2006, arguing that Uruguay had broken the terms of a 1975 treaty regulating the use of the River Uruguay which forms the border between them.

In its ruling, the ICJ said that Uruguay had breached its procedural obligations to inform Argentina of its plans.

However, the court said Uruguay had not violated its environmental obligations under the treaty.

Blockades

Argentina's view that the plant was causing noise and visual pollution and producing "bad odours" did not fall within the cour'ts jurisdiction, the ruling said.

The court rejected Argentina's request for the mill, located on the Uruguayan bank of the river near the town of Fray Bentos and built by the Finnish firm Botnia, to cease operations.

It also turned down a request for compensation for "alleged injuries suffered in various economic sectors, specifically tourism and agriculture".

The dispute over plans to build intially two and then just one paper mill brought Argentine protesters onto the streets.

Rresidents of the Argentine town of Gualeguaychu across the river from the plant blockaded roads and river crossings, and at times relations between the two South American nations were strained.

The ICJ's rulings are final and cannot be appealed against.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Argentina-Uruguay row hits summit
09 Nov 07 |  Americas
Argentine-Uruguay row heats up
02 Sep 07 |  Americas
Uruguay 'strangled' by Argentina
18 Dec 06 |  Americas
River row divides former friends
15 Feb 06 |  Americas
Country profile: Argentina
29 May 12 |  Country profiles
Uruguay country profile
21 Oct 12 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Inter Press Service Argentina and Uruguay: A Chance to Get Relations Back on Track - 29 hrs ago
Al Jazeera Court backs Uruguay in river row - 30 hrs ago
Financial TimesPulp mill frays Argentine-Uruguay relations - 36 hrs ago
France24 Uruguay reneged on treaty with Argentina: world court - 38 hrs ago
Yahoo! UK and Ireland Paper mill in Uruguay-Argentina spat escapes closure - 38 hrs ago
* May require registration


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific