Resolution accepted at the EGP Council meeting, Malmö, Sweden, October 16-18, 2009
This project faced public outrage and mass protests. Public movement For the Conservation of Khimki Forest was formed. The activists were terrorized, since local authorities tried to prevent the information from spreading among the population.
According to the official information (received 12.10.2009) EBRD has agreed in principle to take part in financing of the Moscow – St. Petersburg motorway project (section 15-58 km).
European Greens strongly convinced that the relative attractiveness of the project for investments is ensured mainly by harsh destruction of natural environment, unprecedented ignorance of public opinion, violation of Russian and international law as well as by use of chip, dirty and obsolete construction technologies.
According to this project motorway will pass through Khimki Forest Park.
Khimki Forest Park is a protected natural area with very rich wildlife including relic oak groves. It is a natural habitat for elks, boars and other wild animals . The Forest Park is a part of so-called protective forest park belt around Moscow. It is the only wildlife area in this polluted and overpopulated region (only 5 km from Moscow).
This project faced public outrage and mass protests. Public movement For the Conservation of Khimki Forest was formed. The activists were terrorized, since local authorities tried to prevent the information from spreading among the population. Few activists were arrested; meetings and tent camps were systematically attacked. In November 2008 one of the activists, journalist Mikhail Beketov, was brutally beaten. As a result, Mikhail became a heavy disabled person; he is still treated in a hospital.
Environmental danger of the project is officially condemned in strongest terms by a number of state agencies, political parties, NGOs:
- The Moscow Duma (Parliament of Moscow) voted a petition to the Prime Minister of Russia asking him to alter the project so that Khimki Forest be intact; - The State body for monitoring of ecological problems ‘Rosprirodnadzor’ has repeatedly warned about severe break of law in the case of the road passage through Khimki Forest; - The Moscow’s State Department for Conservation and Natural Resources has issued statement condemning the project of the highway through Khimki Forest Park territory as destructive for wildlife and ecologically dangerous;
- Most of Russian political parties and environmental NGOs made statements against destruction of Khimki Forest Park; - More than 15,000 citizens of Russia as well as of other countries signed the petition for the Khimki Forest; against the highway project in its present state.
European Greens propose EBRD to deny any financial support to the project, directly or via any intermediary.
Download the complete resolution in PDF format here...