According to Eduard Voytenko, the upcoming Year of Ecology in Russia will not become another ceremonial event, since federal authorities are going to find out how deeply the FIG lobbyists have penetrated into the All-Russia People’s Front, who preys on environmental agenda in the regions and how political opposition exploits this topic for point-scoring.

Declaring 2017 as the Year of Ecology, just before presidential election, is fraught with a great many risks, given current situation in domestic and foreign policy. Growing social and economic crisis, inflation of conventional parties’ political capital, loss of support by regional leaders who are seen as staying too long in their offices, obvious failures of well-known inefficient public figures — all that can have a negative impact on planning and implementation of projects in the framework of the Year of Ecology.

Due to the focus on environmental initiatives we may see unfair competitive practices penetrate the state activity, as well as defamation of real environmental problems, revelation of insoluble contradictions in the regions where criminal organizations still control waste disposal. The risk of failure is significant, and one should not believe that it will pass unnoticed by foreign green parties and movements that are a priori hostile to Russia.

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