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Aliance Media, December 10, 2002

YABLOKO learns to be an environmental party

The meeting between the representatives of environmental organisations from Tomsk and Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnoyarsk Territory and the leaders of the YABLOKO party took place in the State Duma on December 3, 2002. YABLOKO was represented by chairman of the party Grigory Yavlinsky, as well as deputy chairmen, deputies of the State Duma Sergei Mitrokhin and Igor Artemyev.

The press service of the YABLOKO faction informed "regions.ru" that the discussions focussed on the problems of wideranging imports of nuclear waste into Russia, as well as coordination in the environmental sector between YABLOKO and non-governmental organisations.

In his speech Grigory Yavlinsky stressed the importance of wideranging cooperation between environmental organisations and YABLOKO. "While we are not the "green' party, we are learning to be an environmental party," said YABLOKO's leader. "Environmental concerns are key to our politics. Attitudes to environmental problems represent the index of the cultural level of individuals and society in general." He expressed the readiness of YABLOKO to use all the resources at its disposal to implement constructive legislative initiatives proposed by the environmentalists.

Yavlinsky also confirmed that YABLOKO was a principled and consistent opponent of imports of nuclear waste into Russia. "The transformation of Russia into an international nuclear burial is a disgrace and we will be accountable before our children for such a step," stressed Yavlinsky.

Sergei Mitrokhin drew the attention of the audience to the possibility of alternative financing of the problems connected with ecological rehabilitation of the territories that suffered owing to the functioning of the nuclear power sector and utilisation of nuclear waste accumulated in Russia. According to Mitrokhin, a number of foreign countries expressed their readiness to finance corresponding programmes in our country. "The hypothetical twenty billion dollars promised by the Nuclear Power Ministry of Russia from implementation of the programme connected with imports of nuclear waste into Russia can actually be obtained from Russia's foreign partners without increasing the quantity of dangerous radioactive materials on Russia's territory," noted Mitrokhin.

Artemyev said that it was necessary to change the methodology for calculating the costs of electricity generated by nuclear power stations. "The ideological myth about the low cost of energy generated by nuclear power stations is based on the fact that its prime costs exclude many expensive chains of the nuclear cycle connected with treatment of nuclear fuel, utilisation of waste from nuclear power plants and the ecological rehabilitation of the territories [that were contaminated]," noted Artemyev. "To obtain an objective picture of energy costs, you need to include all these costs in the tariff."

Environmentalists handed YABLOKO's representatives a number of documents connected to the state of Russia's radioactive security, as well as draft amendments to the law "On Radioactive Security". It is expected that once these amendments have been developed they will be submitted to the State Duma by deputies from the YABLOKO faction. The participants of the meeting also reached an agreement on cooperation on a number of other issues.

See also:
YABLOKO Against Nuclear Waste Imports

Aliance Media, December 10, 2002

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