MOSCOW, July 31 (Itar-Tass) - Ivan Melnikov, a mayoral candidate from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation; Sergei Mitrokhin, a deputy from the Yabloko party, and Mikhail Degtyaryov from the Yabloko party joined a protest rally on Wednesday against the construction of a new trade center in Moscow’s Mitino district.
“I promise to stop the construction (in case I win). Moscow has plenty of land. We need parks and sport. The land should be returned to a landscape park. We are going to build a Sport Palace on budget means in a different place,” Mikhail Degtyaryov, an LDPR candidate for the Moscow mayor, said.
“The situation is not unique. I visit various Moscow districts and see how two-storied kindergarten buildings are replaced by multi-storied hotels with an underground parking. Trees are logged and roads are laid under the windows of apartment buildings,” Communist Party Deputy Ivan Melnikov said in turn. He warned that controversial construction projects frozen by the Moscow mayor’s office could easily be unfrozen if the power did not change on September 8 (a single vote day).
“There are no guarantees that these projects will not be implemented,” Melnikov stressed. “Trading centers are one of the most profit-making facilities in Moscow. They are even more profitable than elite housing,” Yabloko’s candidate Sergei Mitrokhin said.
“No one is against sport. But we do not want sport to be used as a pretext to rob the residents of Mitino and take away their land,” Mitrokhin went on to say.
Nikolai Lyaskin, a mayoral candidate from the RPR- PARNAS party of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, supported the demands of Mitino’s residents to stop the construction of the trade and entertainment center.
Igor Kononov, the head of the Mitino district municipal assembly, told Itar-Tass that the action’s organizers had refused to give him the floor. He said that the city urban planning committee had given up the project and was going to prepare a new one in which sport facilities would occupy 70% of the total space.
“Mitino needs sport and we suggest making it a priority to create sport facilities and a multi-functional sport center,” Kononov explained.
He added that an initiative group of Mitino residents did not want to search for a compromise. Kononov believed that it would be impossible to build a trading center or sport facilities if the land was handed back to the landscape park.