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State Thieves Prepare Privatization of Rivers and Lakes in Russia!

State Thieves Prepare Privatization of Rivers and Lakes in Russia!
Paul Borodin 27.02.2013

Fight round the bill on Amateur Fishery became sharply aggravated. On December, 31, 2012 the government introduced into the Duma the bill which includes all that for the first time in history of Russia caused mass meetings of amateur fishers. In its application "Union of Fishers" opposed the bill.

The government represented by the Ministry of Agriculture decided to listen to the opinion of fishers and invited representatives of the Union to the corresponding meeting. Fishers once again stated their categorical rejection of the project as under the guise of development of amateur fishing it actually authorizes beginning of privatization of natural reservoirs of Russia. Fishers note that it’s the law not about fishing, but about transfer of rivers and lakes into private hands that already concerns not only fishers, but also all citizens who like to have a rest at the water and on water. Simply fishers being active people are the first who started protesting. Sites of rivers, lakes and reservoirs began to be distributed silently since 2008, new owners of the rivers and lakes demanded payment for fishing from fishers and if they didn’t pay, governmental bodies fined such fishers on 1000 rub.

Initiators of this actual privatization of natural reservoirs needed to fix such situation somehow legislatively and at first they pushed relevant amendment into the Law on Fishery and Preservation of Water and Biological Resources, when fishers sharply opposed that amendment, they decided to fix the same things in the special federal law which is submitted now for consideration of the Duma. No one could be deceived by the promise of legislators from the Ministry of Agriculture and Russian Federal Fisheries Agency to distribute only 10% of water fund of the region into private hands. All understand that it’s only the beginning of mass privatization of rivers and lakes of Russia.

Having seen that it’s impossible to make an agreement with "Union of Fishers", the Ministry of Agriculture started looking for support of other public organization - fund “Russian Salmon” which board of trustees enlists the head of the center of public relations of the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency Alexander Savelyev. This fund, naturally, declared at once that the bill provides in the maximum degree balance of interests of all participants of amateur fishery, amateur fishermen and their public organizations, business-communities, federal and regional governing bodies. Actually the project provides business interests of the members and partners of the fund, as well as fishing officials to the detriment of interests of amateur fishers.

The meeting in the Committee on economic policy of the Federation Council became the next step of the Ministry of Agriculture on collecting arguments in favor of the bill. The deputy minister of agriculture Igor Manylov told members of the committee that the bill was developed with active participation of amateur fishermen, that it passed public hearings. Yes, fishers actively participated in the discussion of the bill, but they never approved it and even constantly acted against. Without having learned what fishers actually think, the Committee on economic policy of the Federation Council unanimously voted in support of the bill and the deputy minister carried that response to the Duma, a heading “Senators Approved Fishing under Law” appeared in the newspapers, that is opinion of several deprived of exact information senators was given out for opinion of all Federation Council.

However there’s different opinion about the bill in the State Duma. The deputy of the State Duma from the Astrakhan region, member of the committee on natural resources and environmental management Leonid Ogul declared to the newspaper Vzglyad that as a whole the bill on amateur fishing brought by the government into the State Duma at the end of December doesn't differ much from the document which in 2011 made fishermen start mass protest actions. Therefore we need to make the Ministry of Agriculture to pay attention to this federal law, the deputy considers.

While the deputy is knocking to the door of the Ministry of Agriculture, fishers of Russia send protest letters to the president, the Prime Minister and to the Duma...

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