Hungary calls on Ukraine, Romania to stop polluting rivers

Plastic waste, seen on River Tisza near Tiszafured

Hungary's president Janos Ader called on Ukraine and Romania on Tuesday to stop polluting two major rivers that flow across Hungary after floods in the past weeks brought in "dirty carpets" of plastic bottles from its neighbours.

In letters to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, published on Ader's official website, he said Hungarian authorities could not clean up all the waste in the Tisza and Szamos rivers.

Ader, whose role in Hungarian politics is largely ceremonial, said in the letters that since mid-June Hungarian authorities had removed 938 cubic metres of waste from the Tisza river and 846 cubic metres of waste from the Szamos river.

The Tisza, one of the main rivers in eastern Europe, starts in Ukraine and flows across Hungary to join the Danube in Serbia. The Szamos flows from Romania to Hungary and joins the Tisza there. Massive pollution on the two rivers has been a problem for years.

The Ukrainian and Romanian presidents' offices were not immediately available for comment, Reuters reported.

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