Resolution adopted at the EGP Council, Berlin, 16-18 March 2007 (.pdf)
St Petersburg city authorities have decided to expand the territory of the Seaport and construct the Western Speed Diameter motorway (WHSD) as a part of Pan-European transport corridor IX (Branch A). The WHSD motorway will cross the residential areas of St.-Petersburg from South to the North, with predicted daily traffic of 560 000 vehicles. The new Seaport, industrial zones and the WHSD threaten the fragile environment of the Baltic Sea.
The land reclamation and motorway construction in the Gulf of Finland will lead to serious changes in the marine ecosystem and have a crucial impact on spawning fish and migrating birds in the area. Construction works can also alter the Neva river stream bed and reduce the flow of fresh water into the Gulf of Finland.
In the northern part of St.-Petersburg the highway will go along the border of the Yuntolovskiy Nature Reserve and cross the forest witch serves as its buffer zone. The wetlands of the Yuntolovskiy Reserve provide a resting site for migratory birds flying from Arctic region to Western Europe and Scandinavia. 13 bird species are listed in the Red Data Book of the Baltic Region. This unique protected area will not survive the motorway construction.
40 thousand citizens of St.-Petersburg have signed a petition against the project. Despite the scale of the projects, no full and proper environmental impact assessment was made. This violent destruction of ecosystems without any regard to public opinion and thorough impact assessment breaks several international conventions, such as Rio de Janeiro Convention on Biological Diversity, Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, Ramsar convention on Wetlands, Espoo on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context. It also violates people’s right to a healthy environment.
The European Greens call on St.-Petersburg authorities and Russian Governments to stop the projects and consider alternative ways of solving transport and economic problems in the city.