Данное обращение связано с тем, что европейские структуры (в частности, Европейский банк реконструкции и развития, Европейский инвестиционный банк и французская строительная компания Vinci) участвуют в проекте (хотя банки фактически уже отказались финансировать уничтожение леса).
Given the involvement of a European construction company and the association of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank in the controversial Khimki road project, we write to request that the European Union make its position towards the project clear and public.
We would like to take the opportunity to share our concerns with you.
Environmental concerns The highway will split Khimki forest (located nearby Moscow) in half and destroy its very important parts (old-growth oak grove, sphagnum bogs with cranberries, etc.). Later, according to the conclusion of environmentalists, the entire forest will be lost due to fragmentation and transformation of its ecosystem. Important habitats of large animals - elk, wild boar - will be lost.
The project is completely illegal, since road construction in Russia cannot be permitted in the forest parks, if alternative routes could be proposed. Official documents mention at least five alternative routes for Moscow - St. Petersburg highway, which bypass the Khimki forest.
Lack of consultation The project was approved by the Government without consultations with civil society, which opposes construction of this road. It is true that, after a mass protest in defence of Khimki Forest in August 2010 in Moscow, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the suspension of all works in the forest pending an enquiry into all possible routes. We appreciate this gesture but we have reason to believe that the government will press ahead with its original plans regardless.
Violence In November 2008, the rigorous defender of Khimki Forest journalist Mikhael Beketov was crippled. Now he is disabled. Although enquiries have been inconclusive, many suspect that this could not happen without involvement of officials from the Administration of the city of Khimki. Activists of the antifascist movement Alexey Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov face up to eight years in prison for their part in the protest on 28th July. On 4th November 2010 another activist, Konstantin Fetisov, Head of Khimki organization of the "Pravoe Delo" party was brutally attacked. During the night of 6th-7th November journalist Oleg Kashin was heavily beaten, too. Kashin wrote many articles in Kommersant newspaper on our problem.
Corruption The project was examined by Transparency International, which revealed corruption by officials of the Ministry of Transport, connected with this project. In short, participation in the Moscow - St. Petersburg highway project means supporting a repressive authoritative regime in Russia, corruption, human rights violations, repressions of civil society representatives and the ruthless extermination of nature.
We ask you to appeal to the Russian Government at the forthcoming EU-Russia Summit on 7th December to stop any participation in the existing project until equal analysis of all the existing alternatives of the road and transparent choice of the variant is realised. We ask you to declare publicly that you are against EBRD or EIB participation in the project.
We would look forward to your reaction to our letter.