A workshop of the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) sought to evaluate the fulfilment by Russia of recommendations on nature protection in the Baltic Sea Region. The workshop took place in St. Petersburg on 13 - 15 June, 2001. Workshop participants - official delegations of politicians, regional authorities and experts from 9 countries of the Baltic Sea Region - considered how risks from environmentally hazardous industries are being reduced in Russia. Similar workshops are regularly held in all countries of the region.
HELCOM follows 132 "hot spots" on the Baltic shores. In St.Petersburg and the Leningrad region, there are 9 such spots. These are big cattle-breeding farms, Syas pulp and paper mill, Volkhov Aluminium Plant, Krasny Bor chemical wastedump, St.Petersburg Vodokanal, galvanic industries, etc. The HELCOM seeks to restore environmental balance of the Baltic Sea and its seaside zones by 2012, gradually decreasing the number of old "hot spots" and timely preventing new dangers.
The Green World NGO, a Coalition Clean Baltic member, was invited, among others, to the press conference on the workshop results. At the press-conference, Green World representative Sergey Kharitonov stated that new "hot spots" have arisen on the shores of the Gulf of Finland that can threaten the Baltic. He distributed materials with their description.
The potentially hazardous objects and activities include: Europe's biggest plant for remelting radioactive scrap metal "Ecomet-S" in Sosnovy Bor, the jamming of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) beyond the design standards at the Leningrad NPP, and construction of a "dry storage" for the SNF and the shop on cropping spent nuclear fuel units. Construction, reconstruction and operation of these objects are considered to be performed with violations of the Russian legislation, without necessary permissions and documents. In particular, no public hearings and state environmental examination were held concerning these objects and activities.
The statement by Green World aroused interest among HELCOM and EBRD representatives.
In the nearest future, Coalition Clean Baltic will publish the Baltic Map of Red and Green Spots prepared by Coalition members and in particular by Green World and Children of the Baltic. This map will be accompanied by descriptions of hazardous objects and environmentally friendly activities.