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Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service
Photo: Valery Titievsky
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May 12, 2006
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Forest Managers Out of the High Road
Russias Ministry of Natural Resources, Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service, Federal Forestry Agency, Internal Ministry and prosecutors are checking lessees of timber allotments to be crossed by a new federal highway running from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The officials claim the better part of the land was taken on lease for further sale of the ownership title.
The first inspections of environmental and enforcement bodies of Russia were held straight after the May holidays. 200 allotments will be checked first and foremost, while the overall number will exceed 1,000, said Rinat Gazitullin, briefer at Natural Resources Ministry.

Concluding the contracts for this land peaked from late 2004 to early 2005, when construction of the highway became known, said Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service. According to Mitvol the checks take two directions; the environmental officials are concerned about contracts execution, while the enforcement bodies are probing into activities of bureaucrats, who released the permits.

The lessees were staking allotments by using ties with officials. After it, they had just to wait till the state starts buying out the lease title from them, Mitvol explained, signaling the damage from the repeated buyout will reach hundred million dollars.
www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of May 12, 2006

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