February 28, 2013 – Evgenia Chirikova, leader of the Movement to Defend Khimki Forestparticipated in a meeting with French President Francois Hollande and Russian public figures. In her speech, Mrs. Chirikova told President Hollande how Vinci, the French Company that is constructing a Moscow-St. Petersburg road through the Khimki Forest, had joined with chains of tax-haven companies. These companies are apparently trace-able back to Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg, a friend of Putin and other Russian billionaires. The project, funded by Russian tax-payers, banks and pension funds, rather than foreign investments, is already accruing profits, which find their way back to Rotenberg. Besides this obvious corruption, the project is also linked to abuses of environmental activists who protested the road’s serious environmental impact.
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