Buryatia: Parliament to Debate Pipeline Construction
The question on construction of an Eastern Siberia-Pacific (VSTO) oil pipeline across the Buryatia territory will be debated by a special session of the republican parliament. On a decision of the Council of the republican parliament (Eds: Council is a consultative body, consisting of parliament speaker, his deputies and leaders of parliamentary groups), the special session with this only item on the agenda will be called on March 31, Tass learnt on Tuesday at the legislature’s press service.
Republican deputies insisted on the discussion of problems, connected with construction of the oil pipeline. They claimed that the choice of the route for the pipeline is important from the viewpoint of ecological security of Lake Baikal.
“Living near Baikal, we cannot stand aloof from the ongoing discussions on this issue. The stand of the Buryatia parliament will be of importance in this debate,” stressed chairman of the republican parliament committee on agrarian policy and consumer market Vladimir Pavlov who initiated the calling of the special session.
Buryatia ecologists and the general public are against construction of the oil pipeline near the Baikal shore. The Buryatia regional branch on Baikal, a leading ecological organization in the Trans-Baikal area, put forth an initiative that the Russian Security Council should examine the problem of building the VSTO pipeline.
In the opinion of ecologists, it is necessary to work out alternative routes of the pipeline, to wit: to preclude its construction in the basin of Lake Baikal, concentrating 80 percent of high quality drinking water in Russia.
Top executives of the Irkutsk Region – Governor Alexander Tishanin
and speaker of the regional legislative assembly Viktor Kruglov -- had also
opposed in March construction of the pipeline near Baikal.