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YABLOKOs Political Committee: Russian state acts like an irresponsible business corporation conducting anti-environmental policies

Press Release
December 5, 2009

On December 5, 2009, YABLOKOs Political Committee discussed the ecological policy of the government. The key report was made by Academician Alexei Yablokov, leader of the Green Russia faction. After a discussion the Committee adopted resolution On the Anti-Environmental Policies of the Russian Authorities.

On opening of the meeting the Political Committee commemorated the victims of the Nevsky Express railroad crash and the victims of the Perm nightclub fire by a one-minute silence.

Alexei Yablokov reported on a bad environmental situation in Russia dwelling on the most acute ecological problems and offered ways of their solution. According to the World Health Organisation, 493,000 people die annually in Russia because of ecological problems. Thus, life expectancy for men is only 59 years, which is 15 18 years less than in the USA and Japan. And it is even 3 4 years lower in the zones of environmental pollution (about 14% of the territory of the country).

According to Acad.Yablokov, Russia has been demonstrating a surprising trend: in the period of high oil prices and a reported economic growth in the country, life expectancy was steadily falling. This is due to the grave environmental problems, Yablokov noted.

Acad.Yablokov also stated that the Russian authorities have been conducting a purposeful anti-ecological policy: when Vladimir Putin came into power, he virtually liquidated Russias environmental legislation, state ecological control, expertise and monitoring, and the system of ecological education. Also the state officials have recently formulated the essence of their ecological policy, Ecology is for the rich. We shall take up ecology when Russia gets rich. Yet we should widely use our natural resources and weaken environmental requirements so that to facilitate investments [into the country] (a quotation from ex-Economic Minister German Gref and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin).

However, experience of other countries demonstrates that stabilisation of environmental situation requires about 2% of total budget expenditures; whereas slow improvement demands about 3% and rapid improvement about 5% of budget expenditures. Russias environmental expenditures amounted to less than 0.1% of Russias budget in 2009.

Alexei Yablokov also pointed out that it is impossible to change Russias ecological policy without restoration of elections, independence of the courts and mass media. He also noted that the urgent measures targeted at improvement of the situation should include restoration of considerably weakened environmental legislation, restoration of the environmental control agency, return of expertise and control and development of environmental education.

During further discussion on Acad.Yablokovs report, Grigory Yavlinky, ex-Chairman of the party and Political Committee member, made a statement that Russia has a political system which is anti-environmental in principle. The essence of this system is deriving profit at the expense of lives and health of the people, he said. He also stressed that such profits are largely formed at the expense of thousands of deaths every year. This is an artificial method of reduction of the costs, however, it will result in its bankruptcy [of this power].

Protection of environment is the prime interest of the society; whereas the state which in our country is represented by a group of officials who are at same time businessmen can be interested only in business, Yavlinsky noted.

Askhat Kayumov, head of the ecological centre Dront, said that any state ecological initiatives represent a means of enriching of the bureaucracy. YABLOKOs leader Sergei Mitrokhin characterised the government as follows: this is a closed joint-stock company engaged in the sell-out of the country.

Sergei Ivanenko, Political Committee member supported this opinion. According to Ivanenko, only transformation of the socio-political system can change this situation. Lev Fyodorov, President of the For the Chemical Safety Union added that the country will not develop and will be further degrading if the present policies are maintained.

In the second part of the meeting the Political Committee discussed the proposals on the reforming of the electoral system submitted by Viktor Sheinis and Anatoli Golov, as well as a number of inner-party issues on the threashold of the congress.

See also:

YABLOKO for Environmental Safety



Press Release

December 5, 2009