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Sergei Shoigu refused to support the evacuation of people from territories contaminated by radiation

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Russia's Ministry of Emergencies does not support the amendment to the draft federal budget for 2003 proposed by deputies from the YABLOKO faction Sergei Mitrokhin and Igor Artemyev envisaging the allocation of ten million roubles for the evacuation of Tatarskaya Karabolka town, Chelyabinsk region. This is indicated in the official letter from Minister Sergei Shoigu obtained by Sergei Mitrokhin.

The Ministry of Emergencies, runs the letter, "does not see any grounds for supporting the proposal to evacuate the inhabitants of Tatarskaya Karabolka town and allot budget funds to these needs."

This town is situated in a zone that became contaminated with radioaction owing to the disaster at the "Mayak" plant in 1957. However, unlike their neighbours, the town was not evacuated. Over 45 years the population of the town dropped from 4.000 to 640 people, and about 10% of the population have different forms of oncological diseases (the average for Russia as a whole is less than 1%).

"When aid to ordinary people is required, official Russian ministries prefer to ignore the obvious facts." This is how Mitrokhin commented on the position of the Ministry of Emergencies. "The town is dying and bureaucrats pretend that nothing happens." Mitrokhin also said that the data released by the Urals Research Centre of Radioactive Medicine referred to by the Ministry of Emergencies to motivate their negative response were "extremely cynical". According to the data, "at present there is no ample proof of damage to the health of inhabitants who were not evacuated, caused by the consequences of the disaster."

"Obviously, in these cases we should be led by the results of independent expertise rather than the bureaucratic structure servicing the interests of the gulity parties for the disaster - the Nuclear Power Ministry of Russia, said Mitrokhin.

Despite the negative reaction of Russia's Ministry Emergencies, the YABLOKO faction is going to push the adoption of the amendment during examination of the budget on the fourth reading. At the same time amendments to the law "On Radio Active Safety of Population" that will not allow for a repetition of such a situation in the future are under preparation and will be submitted to the Duma.

See also:

YABLOKO Against Nuclear Waste Imports

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