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Greenwashing: Legislator says foreign NGOs use eco-friendly slogans for nefarious goals

As the senator recalled, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that Russia needed "sovereign technological potential"
Head of the Federation Council’s Interim Commission for Protecting State Sovereignty and Preventing Interference in Internal Affairs Andrei Klimov  Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Head of the Federation Council’s Interim Commission for Protecting State Sovereignty and Preventing Interference in Internal Affairs Andrei Klimov
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. Thirty out of 150 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) listed as foreign agents in Russia are operating under the slogans of environmental protection for their destructive goals, Head of the Federation Council’s Interim Commission for Protecting State Sovereignty and Preventing Interference in Internal Affairs Andrei Klimov said on Tuesday.

"Out of 150 NGOs recognized as foreign agents, thirty are working precisely under ‘green’ slogans. In addition, external forces are systematically channeling quite reasonable protests of the local population on the issues of environmental protection in various Russian regions into destructive political activity," Klimov said as he presented the commission’s annual report at a plenary session.

The commission is speaking not about those who are sincerely engaged in solving real environmental problems but about those "who are using such issues for goals that are far away from the environmental agenda," he stressed.

As the senator recalled, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that Russia needed "sovereign technological potential."

"According to the available data, the ratio of Russia’s technological dependence remains at the level of 0.6. That is, Russian patents account for about 60% on our market. This is better than in such BRICS countries as India or Brazil but there is surely something we need to work on, considering new challenges," the senator said.

In their report, the commission’s experts provide evidence that the so-called green protests in Russia are aimed usually against creating new production capacities while "activists are less concerned over old and environmentally more dangerous facilities," he said.

"As a result, as the most modest estimates suggest, this kind of tactic has impeded the implementation of projects in Russia to the tune of about a trillion rubles [$15 billion]," the senator stressed.

As the annual report goes, the commission is planning to continue keeping an eye on how environmental issues are used "to cover up actions actually aimed at interference in Russia’s internal affairs" in order to work out comprehensive recommendations, including proposals on amending Russian legislation," the senator pointed out.