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MOSCOW, August 2 /TASS/. A rotting stain, which appeared on Lake Baikal late in July, was of natural rather than techno-genic nature, Sergey Donskoy, Russian minister of natural resources and environment, told journalists on Tuesday.
"Indeed, the stain was not of a techno-genic nature. It did not look like an oil slick. The data received and studied by the Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources [Rosprirodnadzor] confirmed the stain’s natural origin.
Donskoy told the federal service to analyze why the stain - a concentration of water grass and other natural elements - had appeared.
"I do not think that shallow waters are to blame. There are other reasons, including serious storms which hit Baikal prior to and after the stain’s appearance," the minister said.
The local residents felt a putrescent smell on the Baikal shore on July 25. A stinky stain was discovered near Maksimikha village in the Barguzinsky Gulf a day later on July 26.
Lake Baikal, located in southern Siberia, is the world’s largest and deepest [the maximum depth is 1,600 meters] freshwater lake, which contains about 20% of global freshwater reserves. Baikal and its coastal territories are a place of habitat of almost 2,600 species and subspecies of water animals, half of which live only in Baikal. While 336 rivers run into Baikal, there is only one river-the Angara, which carries its waters out of the lake.