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Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Moscow Oil Refinery Blamed for Gas Leak May Be Closed for 3 Months
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The Moscow Oil Refinery (NPZ) believed to be responsible for the gas leak yesterday, may be closed for three months, Lenta. ru and TASS reported.

The Ministry of Environment told reporters that the plant may have to be closed due to pollution of the atmosphere. NPZ is owned by Gazprom Neft, the main state oil company.

Sergei Donskoy, head of the Ministry of Environment, said that in fact NPZ was responsible for the leak of hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere which caused the stench and smog covering some districts of the capital yesterday. He also vowed to ensure that all those responsible would be punished.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin urged an investigation of the toxic gas leak. The Emergencies Ministry has also confirmed that the reason for the smell was a "malfunction" at the NPZ.

Yet Gazprom Neft is denying responsibility for the gas leak. Environmental monitors found a higher concentration of hydrogen sulfide and styrene in the atmosphere yesterday, some of which had dissipated later in the day.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick