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Medvedev calls for U-turn on motorway

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Medvedev calls for U-turn on motorway


After widespread public protest, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev has put a temporary halt on plans to build a motorway through a Moscow forest.

Groups and local residents had objected to the plans, initially the idea of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s cabinet.

But the ruling United Russia party is now saying it wants a rethink.

Medvedev announced the change of position saying: “Even though the government took its own decision about the construction of a road through the forest, even though the question has been reviewed by our judicial system… this decision is in need of further analysis.”

One political analyst sees the move as “populist” and predicts the road from Saint Petersburg to the capital will ultimately still pass through the forest of Khimki although another route is possible.

Rallies culminated on Sunday with a concert to protect the forest organised by Russia’s top rock star Yuri Shevchuck.

The motorway u-turn is the latest indication the party is keeping an eye on the growing protest movement in the country.

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