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Logging Firm Drops Suit Against Khimki Forest Campaigners

Yevgenia Chirikova
Yevgenia Chirikova
MOSCOW -- A logging company has dropped a lawsuit against campaigners protesting plans to build a highway through Khimki forest near Moscow, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Teplotechnik was contracted to do deforestation and other work for the construction of the new Moscow-St. Petersburg highway, a project that sparked protests led by the Khimki Forest Defenders movement.

The company had filed a lawsuit against protest leaders demanding 8 million rubles ($260,000) in damages it said the campaign had caused its business. The company today withdrew the lawsuit.

Reacting to the move, Khimki Forest Defenders movement Yevgenia Chirikova told RFE/RL she is sure it won't be the last case against Khimki campaigners.

"I think that if we continue defending our rights in the Khimki forest case," she said, "we will face a lot more suits against us."

President Dmitry Medvedev earlier this year suspended construction of the highway following months of protests, but a government commission this month gave the project the green light.