15% of Environment in Russia Fails to Meet Admissible Norms

Putin Asks Dumato Make More Changes to Bill on Forests


BBC MonitoringInternational Reports, 22 July 2003


Moscow, 22 July– Russian President Vladimir Putin has requested that the State Duma review theamendments to the Forest Code which the lower house of Russian parliament passedupon first reading in June, the press service of the Russian head of statereported on Tuesday (22 July).


The draft federallaw No.324740-3 “On changes and additions to the Forest Code of the RussianFederation” is designed to govern issues related to the transfer offorested land areas to other categories, as well as the transfer of forestedland areas to deforested areas. In addition the draft law defines conditions andprocedures for building in the forest areas of the country.


The head of statesent a statement on the draft law to State Duma chairman Gennadiy Seleznev. Thepresident said in this statement that “there is no disputing the keyprovisions of the draft law” but the document “includes provisionsthat are at variance with the Land Code of the Russian Federation and theFederal Law “concerning specially protected land areas”.


This discrepancyis particularly visible in the draft law provisions that envisage conversion offorests in the national natural preserves and national parks to land areas thatfall within other categories.


The presidentalso expressed a number of remarks concerning conditions for conversion offorested areas into areas that fall within other categories.


The head of statedrew attention to the fact that the withdrawal of land areas from the forestfund for public and municipal needs is already regulated by the Land Code in amanner that differs from that envisaged by the draft law. Thus, the draft lawfails to take into account that the withdrawal of land areas from the forestfund for public and municipal needs is admissible in exclusive situations, forexample those related for fulfilment of international obligations of the RussianFederation.


The presidentalso proposes bringing a number of other articles of the draft law in line withthe land and forest codes.


The draft law”may be supported on condition that it is finalized,” the statementsays.


(In a laterreport, ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1217 gmt 22 Jul 03 said thatmore work would be done on the bill in the second half of September whenparliament reconvened to make it ready for the second reading and that even moresuggestions than put forward by Putin would be proposed.)


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