Russian PM to look into plans for construction of Chinese water-bottling factory at Lake Baikal
Environmentalists and local residents expressed fears that exporting large volumes of water to China and its neighboring countries could drain or pollute the ultra-pure lake and irreparably damage its unique ecosystem.
“We shouldn’t create a situation that would jeopardize the ecological setting of Baikal,” Dmitry Medvedev told the media, adding that he has received a lot of messages on social media asking him to look into the issue.
Medvedev noted that a major paper mill on Baikal, the largest freshwater lake by volume, was shut down in 2013 due to environmental concerns. “The decision helped to improve the overall situation with the Baikal lake,” he said.
Activists claim that the building permit for the bottling facility was obtained with violations and without a proper ecological evaluation, as construction works on the Baikal shores are prohibited under Russian law.Also on rt.com Breaking the ice! Russian chill-seeker dives into freezing waters of Lake Baikal (VIDEO)
Many people, including Russian celebrities, campaigned against the construction at Baikal online and by staging protests. An online petition to stop the water-bottling plant being built on the shores of the world’s deepest freshwater lake garnered 800,000 signatures.
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