April 26 chairman of the Komi Izhemtsy movement "Izvatas" Nikolai Rochev and expert of Greenpeace Russia Vladimir Chuprov will speak at a meeting of the Arctic Council in Canada. They will tell the Inuit people about the danger of oil. Nikolai Rochev talked with a reporter of «7x7» and explained what he was ready to speak about at the meeting, which would gather foreign ministers of eight states in Ikaliut.
Photo: Maxim Polyakov
Canada is now chair the Arctic Council.
“The group has been established at the board and it is working on industrial development in the Arctic; it includes mainly representatives of oil companies,” Nikolai Rochev said. “So an oil lobby was created there. The Working Group has been operating for a long time, and the representatives of the indigenous peoples of the circumpolar zone, a part of the Arctic Council, don’t have means to create such a group. It actually turns out to be “a one-way street” case. Meanwhile, the oil companies have already begun to tell the public about their wonderful future, how they would thrive with the beginning of oil extraction.”
According to Nikolai Rochev, his purpose is to talk about the experience of the Izhevsk and Usinsk oil extraction.
“They promised us prosperity and a comfortable life with the arrival of the oilers as well. And what do we have now? Now we perceive the presence of oil and mining in our region not as some sort of grace or progress, but as a curse. What we were promised, nothing has been done. On the contrary, there are constant spills, plums of interstratal water, that makes our nature unsuitable for traditional use. It is on the land. And here, on the shelf, in the Arctic, it threatens an even greater disaster. I want to convey Canadians that all the promises of oilers about prosperity is a lie.”
In an interview the chairman of "Izvatas" also recalled that before leaving he tried to send an "Arctic Declaration" to the Foreign Ministry of Russia; it’s a document that calls to declare a neutral waters around the North Pole reserved, to ban oil in the Arctic seas and restrict industrial fishing there. However, the declaration was not accepted on the grounds that it was "in English and in the frame". Meanwhile, it didn’t bother foreign ministries of other Arctic countries, where activists have already submitted their application.