Russia: "We Izhma Komi are indigenous people and this is our land"
On 13 April, a meeting took place in the village of Krasnobor between residents representing 15 settlements of Izhma district and representatives of"LUKOIL" and "LUKOIL-Komi". The attempts of LUKOil representativess to "agree" privately with the leaders of civic organisations of the Izhma Komi undertaken before the meeting with the local public, have not achieved their goal of avoiding to be held accountable before a large auditorium in the village club. The Izvatas once again insisted on their demands and presented a statement upholding the decisions adopted earlier by the Committee to Save Pechora, by the gathering of local residents, held 30 March and the district council of the Izhma district.
We, the residents of 15 settlements of Izhma district (Krasnobor, Diyur, Vertel, Dam, Mokhcha, Bakur, Varysh, Sizyabsk, Izhma, Shchelyayur, Bolshoye Galovo, Kelchiyur, Maloye Galovj, Ust-Izhma, Yrgen shar), gathered today, April 13, 2014, at a meeting with representatives of LUKOIL
We, Komi-izhemtsi, are indigenous people and this is our land. We are no longer willing to tolerate the predatory exploitation of our mineral resources and the environmental irresponsibility of LUKOIL. We must become equal partners in the implementation of any industrial projects in our lands.
Having discussed the numerous violations of environmental legislation committed by "LUKOIL-Komi" and its contractors in the incident of the oil spill at the Makaryel–Shchelyayur and Nisava–Makaryel pipelines, the release of 140 cubic metres of oil field water at the production plant "Makaryelsky" in March 2014, during the engeneering and construction of the oil pipeline "Azeska - Irayol", as well as violations of the environmental legislation, tolerated by the administration of the Izhma district during the preparation and conduct of public hearings we, demand:
To suspend all operations of "LUKOIL-Komi" and its contractors for exploration, production and transportation of oil products on the territory of the Izhma district until thefollowing conditions are met:
- Establishment of a public commission for compliance with environmental law, in accordance with the decision by the Izhma district council, consisting of: N.V. Rochev - member the district council as chairman and members F.F. Terent’ev, chair of the Committee to Save Pechora, N.T. Bratenkov, board member of the council of “Izvatas”, O.M. Terent’ev, chairman of the initiative group of Krasnobor residents, S.V. Chuprov - resident of Shchelyayur village, O.N. Anufriev, member of the district Council.
- To demand from the management of "LUKOIL - Komi" to allow free access to members of the public commission to objects of "LUKOIL" within the district territory in order to investigate evidence of violations of environmental legislation.
- To hold accountable in accordance with the criminal code of the Russian Federation persons , who are responsible for the order to burn spilled oil at the oil pipeline Makarel – Shchelyayur which took place on 11-12 March, as well as persons responsible for covering up the oil spill in the pipeline Nisheva - Makarel and the release of 140 cubic meters oil field water at Makarel in late March 2014
- To set up as soon as possible a repeat public hearing in the village Krasnobor regarding the Bush wells ?16 and ?3 and also hearings regarding the construction of a second branch of the pipeline on the territory of Izhma district.
- Upon completion of these items, to review the social partnership agreement between the district administration and "LUKOIL" with the purpose of expanding it to include as a separate chapter on partnership between "LUKOIL" and the administration of Krasnobor village.
- Within one month to hold a session of the joint Commission on the development of new principles for the rules of engagement between the company and the indigenous population.
Present - 172 people, voted "for" - 172, "against" - none "abstained"- none. 13 April 2014. The Village Krasnobor.