Plenipotentiary Envoy proposes next director of Sochi Park

Plenipotentiary Envoy proposes next director of Sochi Park
Vladimir Ustinov, Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Southern Federal District

Sergei Yeremin, the Minister of Natural Resources in the Krasnodar region, has been proposed as the next head of the reserve.

Vladimir Ustinov, the Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Southern Federal District, proposed his friend Sergei Yeremin (Krasnodar Minister of Natural Resources) to be the next director of the Sochi National Park,  Kommersant reported.

Ustinov had sent a letter to Russian Minister of Natural Resources Sergei Donskoy, in which he said that appointing the niece of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin as the park director was "unreasonable". He further said in the letter that Darya Filippova had worked in commercial companies not related to environmental protection, and had also committed about forty administrative violations for the last 1.5 years. However, there had been no plans of making Filippova the park head "on a permanent basis", was the response.

The newspaper reported referring to its sources that soon after the letter had been sent, Ustinov telephoned Minister Donskoy and proposed Sergei Yeremin, Krasnodar Minister of Natural Resources, as the next head of the park. According to Kommersant, Ustinov and Yeremin are old friends. They both grew up in Krasnodar, graduated from the Kharkov Law Institute, both took high posts in the prosecutor's office, Ustinov being the prosecutor general between 2000 and 2006 and Yeremin the prosecutor of the Astrakhan region (2002-2004) and of the Krasnodar region (2004-2006). In 2006, when Yuri Chaika headed the General Prosecutor’s Office, Yeremin moved to Rosreestr, before becoming Krasnodar Minister of Natural Resources in April 2015. Now, Yeremin runs Slavic Jaegers hunting society. According to experts the publication interviewed, he is a seasoned negotiator who knows how to find compromises between the interests of both businessmen and nature advocates.

However, according to sources of the publication, both Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin in charge of nature protection and Ministry of Natural Resources top officials are skeptical about the prospect of a local official becoming the head of the park. Preference will be given to a person from the capital, who would be able to impartially scrutinize the work done by the previous director, Nikolai Penkovsky, who has been running the park for 15 years. According to Kommersant, he has managed to find support of some influential Krasnodar policemen for the time of his service.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the final decision regarding the new reserve head is yet to be taken.

Information had surfaced on August 1 claiming that Darya Filippova, a journalist and decorator as well as a niece of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, had taken the post of the Sochi National Park director. In early 2017, she had spent three weeks as Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Crimea.

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