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VLADIVOSTOK, October 5 (Itar-Tass) — The Primorsky gas utility set burning the Eternal Fire at the Memorial to the Combat Glory of the Pacific Fleet here on Wednesday morning.
The gas utility cut off the gas supplies for the memorial several days ago. The debt of the Defence Ministry, which is maintaining the monument, caused the gas supply cuts. The debt reached about 90,000 roubles for nine months.
The fact was highly publicized. The Pacific Fleet Command and the Vladivostok authorities pledged that the Eternal Fire will never be off a year ago during the celebrations on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of Great Victory.
“The debt was caused by a long period during which the funding from Moscow lacked” and the fleet budget “does not have a relevant article for the funding of this facility,” spokesperson of the Pacific Fleet commander Roman Martov said. The Vladivostok authorities elaborated that the city is keeping up only some part of the memorial, but the transfer of the monument, including the Eternal Fire, to the city funding is procrastinating.
“We earlier requested the Defence Ministry to shift the memorial with the Eternal Fire to the city authorities, but the problem is not settled yet,” chairman of the Vladivostok city council of war and labour veterans, the veterans of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies Yakov Kan said. “The Eternal Fire is funded by the city mayor personally or the naval officers, but those who should fund it do not perform their duties,” Kan said.
President Dmitry Medvedev paid attention to the Eternal Fire situation at the Vladivostok war memorial. The president instructed the Primorsky authorities to settle the problem and punish those guilty of gas supply cuts from the Eternal Fire. The president gave the instructions at a meeting of the State Council presidium.
“We live in a period, when all decisions should be economically motivated, but amoral decisions should not be taken,” Medvedev noted. “I understand when the utilities cut off gas supplies in case of chronic underpayments, but it is absolutely inadmissible when the Eternal Fire is cut from gas supplies for the nonpayment of several utility bills that is still to be investigated,” the president stated.
“I instruct the government and the governor in the Primorsky Territory to cope with the situation and to punish those who did it. This is inadmissible,” he pointed out.
The Memorial to the Combat Glory of the Pacific Fleet was built 35 years ago and the Eternal Fire was burning almost all this time. However, the Eternal Fire had to be switched off over some breakdowns at the gas pipeline several years ago. The gas supply system was restored and the war memorial was overhauled with pubic and veteran organizations involved only in the previous year before the Victory Day celebrations. The torch taken from the Unknown Soldier Tomb in the Alexadrovsky Garden was even brought from Moscow for the symbolic revival of the Eternal Fire. Then the authorities pledged that the symbol of combat glory in the Primorsky Territory will never be off.