Paris, 3 October 2013 - Todays announcement by the Paris Prosecutor to open a preliminary enquiry into financial crimes related to the construction of a motorway between Moscow and St. Petersburg  has been welcomed by NGOs Sherpa, Russie-Libertés, CEE Bankwatch Network, MOBO Princip, and members of Russian civil society, who lodged the complaint in June 2013.
Paris, 24 June 2013 - Sherpa, Russie-Libertés, CEE Bankwatch Network and MOBO Princip, as well as members of Russian civil society such as the environmental activist Evgenia Chirikova, today submitted to the Public Prosecutor of Nanterre, France, a complaint relating to the conditions in which the NORTH WEST CONCESSION COMPANY - NWCC - , which is wholly owned by the French company VINCI CONCESSIONS RUSSIE, was awarded a public contract in 2009 concerning the construction of the highway between Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
The news circulated yesterday that Mikhail Beketov, a Russian journalist who campaigned against corrupt practices in connection to the planned highway construction through Khimki Forest, has died. This guest post by Mikhail Matveev and Ivan Smirnov, fellow Khimki activists, tells Beketov's story.
Yesterday, police in Khimki arrested an activist of the Movement for the Defence of Khimki Forest. The activist Alla Chernyshova and her daughters of 3 and 6 had to spend more than five hours in custody where she was questioned as the main suspect for a false bomb threat.
Russian activist Yaroslav Nikitenko was arrested by police on Saturday during a legally permitted picket action in the town of Khimki near Moscow. The action was part of the campaign to change the route of the planned Moscow-St Petersburg motorway so that it avoids the Khimki Forest.
In spite of heavy policing, several thousand people yesterday rallied at a concert in Pushkin Square to voice opposition to the destruction of the Khimki Forest to make way for the EUR 1.5 billion first section of the Moscow - St. Petersburg motorway, a project that may receive financial blessings from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.