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Siberian Parliament Leader Speaks Against Baikal Pipeline

Siberia's pristine Lake Baikal is in an area where geologists say there is lots of seismic activity (AFP) March 13, 2006 -- The speaker of Siberia's regional parliament has added his voice to protests against a controversial Siberian oil pipeline that is slated to run along the world's largest freshwater lake.

ITAR-TASS news agency quotes Viktor Kruglov as saying today he is worried that the proposed route passes next to Lake Baikal, through an area of frequent seismic activity.

Kruglov's comments came after Russia's Supreme Court rejected an appeal against the route of the pipeline, on March 9. The appeal was lodged by environmental groups who argued that the pipeline would endanger Lake Baikal.

The 4,100-kilometer pipeline is to run to Russia's Pacific coast, allowing increased oil exports to China, Japan, and South Korea.

The state-controlled Transneft is building the $11 billion Kremlin-backed project.


RFE/RL Russia Report

RFE/RL Russia Report

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