A train carrying petroleum has been derailed in Tver region, 200 km north-west of Moscow, threatening reservoirs near capital, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.
"Soil and water reservoirs may be contaminated because Moscow gets its water from the Vazuza river," Vyacheslav Vasilyev, chief of the Rescue Operations and Environmental Protection Center's Emergency-Regional Service, said. Twenty-six out of 60 boiler-oil cisterns were derailed 18 km from Rzhev last night, spilling 300 tons of petroleum. Some boiler oil also seeped into the Vazuza River.
"No one was killed, but it is difficult to assess the environmental damage," Vasilyev said. "It will take additional equipment to contain the oil spill and to protect Moscow's water sources."
Clean-up operations will continue for the next 24 hours, he said, but it will take about to 30 days to restore the environment.
Vasilyev said clean-up operations will rely on special methods using sorbents to contain oil. Special dams will keep water from reaching local water bodies.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had had a few fights and used strong language because of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014