Senators lambast head of Ministry of Natural Resources

Senators lambast head of Ministry of Natural Resources
Head of the Ministry of Natural Resources Dmitry Kobylkin

Valentina Matvienko gave Dmitry Kobylkin half a year to solve the problems of the department.

During the government hour in the Federation Council on November 7, senators criticized Head of the Ministry of Environment Dmitry Kobylkin for his policy on hunting and the forest fund of Russia, Moskovsky Komsomolets reports. Federation Council speaker Valentina Matvienko gave Kobylkin half a year to solve forest problems and even less to his deputy Ivan Valentik. 

“The clock is ticking for Valentik, he has even less time. We will track this situation in the most severe way,” Matvienko said. 

The forest fund problems to be solved by Kobylkin’s agency include “black” deforestation, corruption, illegal export of timber, and the low level of development of forest processing enterprises. The minister said that he was engaged in solving these problems, but intended to attract “Chinese partners,” who promised to build nurseries and seed harvesting enterprises in exchange for forest. Matvienko did not accept such an answer, so she gave him a “half year to solve problems.” 

In June, Kobylkin signed an order on the reorganization of the Department of Hunting. Formally, it was connected to the Department of State Policy in the Field of Forest Relations, but was actually liquidated. After the reorganization, only 15 hunting specialists was left in the department. During the meeting, the senators asked the minister about his plans to develop this area.

In particular, the senator from the Ivanovo region, Valery Vasilyev, asked Kobylkin about the possible creation of a unified service of forest and hunting supervision at the federal level and the returning of the powers transferred to the regions in this area to the federal level. 

In response, the minister said that he considered the problems of the Arctic and Antarctic and the World Ocean more important for the country. “Today, there are important, fateful movements for the country, connected with the bottom of the World Ocean, the development of mineral resources, and the Arctic zone,” Kobylkin said. He said that a special department was created in the ministry dealing with these issues – the Department of the Arctic, Antarctic and the World Ocean. As for hunting, according to Kobylkin, is in the powers of Ivan Valentik. 

The minister also added that in the ministry, they wanted to transfer issues related to hunting to project management, which would be handled by employees of the Department of State Policy in the Field of Forest Relations. According to experts, such a decision could adversely affect the industry. 

MK sources said that after meeting with senators, Deputy Minister Ivan Valentik, whom Valentina Matvienko gave a term of less than six months, went to the hospital.

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