The Newsletter of
A Center for Coordination
Moscow, Russia -- Issue 9(18) - special,
IN THIS ISSUE:
FAKE ECOLOGISTS ATTACK TO SHOW PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR
NUCLEAR WASTE IMPORTS
Nuclear lobby in Russia has made another attempt to take a
revenge for its recent defeat. As you may know already, after the
furious antinuclear protests that swept through the Russian cities and
series of publications that uncovered lies and corruption in Russian
Nuclear Ministry minister Yevgeny Adamov had to resign. Some
environmentalists had their hopes for the new Minister Alexander
Roumyantsev, who seemed to be more reasonable, to let trashing Russia
with nuclear waste project die peacefully.
However, recent developments cause serious doubts about that.
Second Parliament hearings and voting are scheduled for April 11.
Anyone in Russia knows that public environmental movement had key
role in Adamov resignation and in turning public opinion against the
project. To win the PR war, for nuclear lobby it was necessary to both
show public environmental organization support for the project and to
discredit the environmental movement in the eyes of common people.
That is why on Saturday, April 7 a "sensation" was born - "public
environmental organizations support spent nuclear fuel imports". The
news were spread to NewsAgencies and published on strana.ru Web-site,
belonging to Kremlin chief PR specialist Pavlovsky.
Closer examined, the sensation turned out to be letter by two
organizations loyal to government, always at its service - Kedr and
Russian Ecological Congress. However, in the PR reality, it is not the
number that matters, but matters how you call it and how much you
advertise it. This letter of 2 was to help Duma deputies to forget the
letter of protest against nuclear waste import signed by 672 REAL
public organizations, with SEU, Greenpeace Russia, WWF- Russian
Program office among them. These two have a rather long history of
creating environmental public participation visibility for the
government. The most prominent show was attempt to create fake public
environmental movement in Russia and to proclaim it one and only
existing in Russia. That gathering on January 30 under the name of
"First All-Russia Ecological Forum" was initiated by Presidents
Administration and was held under the triple protection of police
(they were expecting real public movement protests). The participants
were 40 people, mostly scientists and and officials. Kedr and Russian
Ecological Congress were representing visibility of public movement.
None of other Eco-NGOs were invited, and the whole thing was kept
secret. Kedr is a former political party, that was active only at the
elections time, but invited by government to play public, calls itself
now non-political movement. It plans to be very active in different
international processes, especially at climate negotiations - so
Russian Ecological Congress is, in fact, a different name for
Green Cross Russia. It is ill reputated for organizing flawed public
hearings and reviews of the projects of chemical weapon demolishment.
The Ecoforum was supposed to give "public environmental" permit for
nuclear waste import, but at the time public and media was so outraged
that they decided to do another PR-task - to prepare Russian
Ecological Doctrine for Russian President visit at Rio+10.
However, on April 7 they made another information strike in dirty
nuclear waste war with that letter of nuclear waste import support.
So if media will be writing that Russian NGOs want nuclear waste
in the country - don't believe that.
Its another lie.
All these events, accidentally or not, have coincided with crisis
around NTV - the only large independent TV channel. NTV was always on
environment side, showing the dangers of nuclear waste import project.
MORE ON THE SITUATION
Update to situation with the nuclear waste import' bill
On December 21, 2000 Russian Duma (lower house of parliament)
approved in first reading the bill allowing foreign nuclear waste to
be imported for storage/reprocessing for commercial reasons. Active
legislation bans the import of radioactive waste for storage or
disposal in Russia. Over 40 protests took place all across Russia,
about half of regional Dumas protested the import of waste with
special decrees, but the bill is still on the agenda of State Duma.
Russian Duma, lower house of parliament, has rescheduled second
reading of the bill on April 11. Previosly, it was scheduled for
Thursday, March 22. Originally, second reading was scheduled for
February 22 but then postponed after the rally of environmental groups
and liberal party Yabloko which protested in front of the Duma on
On March 20 there was a meeting in the Duma with liberals
opposing the bill and group of atomic lobbyists including president of
the Kurchatov Institute Velikhov and one of vice-ministers of atomic
power. Liberal members of Duma were not convinced by pro-nuclear
arguments and decided to vote against the bill on Thursday. Decision
was made on the basis of corruption argument: according the statistics
revealed by deputees, there was US$ 28 billions taken out of Russia
illegally in 2000. "I can give you 100% guarantee that all profit from
the import of nuclear waste will disappear", said Grigory Yavlinsky,
leader of Yabloko liberal party.
Earlier in March, inter-factional group opposing the waste import
was established in the Duma, it included members of nearly all
Outside the Duma
On March 19, one more regional Duma in Russia joined the
opposition to the waste import. Environmental groups released the
decree of Kaliningrad region' Duma demanding to stop the waste import
bill and to not change present legislation (its ban for the spent
Soon after the rally on February 19, two highly respected and
well known Russian politicians voiced their opposition to the bill.
Aman Tuleev, former communist leader and Kemerovo' governor, and Egor
Stroev, chair at the federation council and Oryol governor, both said
the waste import bill will work against the national security
Lack of Russian central media interest for the import of waste
issue in January and February was replaced with great interest in
March. Two most important political talk-shows in Russia, ORT channel'
Times and NTV channel' Itogi, covered issue with environmental and
economic critics. It was added by dozens of large newspapers' clips,
99% of it strongly criticized the import of waste. (1% is for the
article by Vek (century) newspaper of Ministry of atomic power)
Last week the first negative signal for the waste import plan
came out of the government which supported the waste import in
September 2000. Government representative in the Duma publically
admitted it was a mistake that opponents of the waste import were not
given an opportunity to speak up during the first reading of bill.
Newspaper of the government "Rossiyskaya" published anti-nuclear
interview of Aman Tuleev.
Source in president Putin' administration told us last week,
president would not like bill to be approved. Mr. Putin will veto it
if necessary, but he would prefer it turned down by "others". After
the report on corruption in Ministry of atomic power was released by
the Duma' committee on corruption earlier in March, prosecutor general
ordered an investigation into commercial activity of the minister
Evgeny Adamov. It was reported that another criminal investigation
launched on the topic of illegal tranfer of nuclear technology from
Russia to Iran.
Ministry of atomic power was accused last week by
environmentalists through major newspapers for spending $ billions of
taxpayers money for promoting the nuclear export in third countries.
Critics said money will never come back.
Update prepared by Vladimir Slivyak and Alisa Nikoulina.
For more information contact:
Antinuclear Campaign at ECODEFENSE!/Socio-Ecological Union,
phone +7 (095) 7766281,7766546, 2784642
Controversial Russian Nuclear Minister Replaced
On March 28, 2001 President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday replaced
his controversial nuclear energy minister Yevgeni Adamov, who has been
accused by the Greenpeace environmental lobby of illegal nuclear
deals. The anti-corruption committee of the Duma (lower house) in
Moscow sent a report to the state attorney's office last month in
connection with alleged illegal activities by Adamov, accusing him of
having interests in at least 10 commercial enterprises in Russia and
Adamov's replacement as nuclear energy minister is Alexander
Rumyantsev, who since 1994 has been head of the Kurchatov Institute,
Russia's main nuclear research establishment. Putin said Adamov had
asked to be discharged from his duties as minister. Adamov had also
come under fire from Russian environmentalists for seeking to import
treated nuclear waste for storage. Last week the Duma postponed
indefinitely a vote on the second reading of a bill to allow the
import of nuclear waste. The appointment of a new nuclear energy
minister was part of a government reshuffle for the first time since
President Vladimir Putin came to power a year ago.
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