Geological survey starts on prospective location of North Caucasian resort.

22/7 Tass 349

MAIKOP, July 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Geological survey has begun on the prospective location of the Lagonaki alpine resort in the Krasnodar territory and Adygeya, a source at the North Caucasian Resorts press service told Itar-Tass on Friday.

He said the specialists would select the places of the future water intake and evaluate the reserves of potable and utility water. The company will draft the resort plan on the basis of this research and approve the location of infrastructure and buildings.

Lagonaki will be a part of the North Caucasian tourist cluster with the daily capacity of about 28,000 people. More than 16,500 beds will be provided for the tourists, as well as 28 ropeways and 164 kilometers of skiing tracks.

The construction of five alpine skiing resorts in the North Caucasus – Matlas in Dagestan, Mamison in North Ossetia, Arkhyz in Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Lagonaki in the Krasnodar territory and Adygeya and Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria – is a priority project of the federal authorities. There will be also modern spa and beach clusters.

The North Caucasian Resorts State Corporation was formed for implementing the project, and Akhmed Bilalov was put in charge. The investments may reach one trillion rubles within ten years, and about 300,000 jobs will be created.

Earlier this week Greenpeace Russia dropped accusations against the North Caucasian Resorts state corporation.

“We have no claims to the Public Joint Stock Company North Caucasian Resorts,” head of the Greenpeace Russia program for specially protected areas and wildlife Mikhail Kreindlin told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

In turn, the state corporation withdrew its lawsuit.

“Obviously, Greenpeace employees mistook maps of special economic zones for maps of prospective settlements. We officially informed the esteemed environmentalists that no settlements will be built in nature conservation zones; there will be no construction works in North Caucasian nature reserves or any other actions disagreeing with Russian laws,” Corporation Deputy General Director Rostislav Murzagulov told Itar-Tass.

The Greenpeace representative welcomed the statement, adding that they had taken it with certain caution. “If such guarantees are given, we will be fully cooperative with the official operator of the project for the sake of preservation and development of the unique wildlife of the North Caucasus,” Kreindlin said.

He expressed hope for a public presentation of the prospective resorts’ master plans to confirm that nothing would be built within nature reserves.

An environmental council of Russian and foreign environmentalists and the public will be formed by this September to ensure efficient public control over the compliance with ecological norms in the development of the tourist zones, Murzagulov said. “We invite everyone who cares about this issue to take part in the council activity. The Caucasus needs this attention. Unorganized tourism may cause an environmental catastrophe while we are finding out who is right and who is wrong,” he said.

It is also important to ensure security of the future tourist centers.

The security concept Israeli experts are developing for the North Caucasian resorts will cost 20 million rubles, Bilalov told the newspaper Izvestia in the previous week.

“Israeli private companies are drafting a security concept for us. It is hard to predict how much this security will cost; the Israeli specialists will tell us. The cost of the concept alone is about 20 million rubles,” he said.

Israel was successful in the provision of security, Bilalov said. “What they are doing for the state of Israel really works. There was only one terror act in Jerusalem over the past seven years, while 42 terror acts happened within one year there before,” he noted.

“There is a whole set of measures, including security agents and technical means, such as drones and video cameras. It works [in Israel], so why can’t it work here. We will bear some of the expenditures, the state will bear some and law enforcers will make their contribution,” he said.

“Obviously, no one will come here if there is no security although the opinion that the crime rate is high in the Caucasus is mostly a stereotype,” he said. “For instance, the number of grave crimes committed in Dagestan is smaller than in some other regions in Russia. The media takes any killing in the Caucasus as news while a killing in some other region is regarded as nothing special,” he said.

Israeli specialists are ready to take active part in the development and installation of a comprehensive security system for the North Caucasian tourist cluster, Israeli police gen., ElbitSecurity Systems consultant Miki Levi told reporters earlier.

He came to Moscow with a company delegation at the invitation of the security department of the North Caucasian Resorts State Corporation. The corporation’s working group visited Israel in May to study security projects.

“We can guarantee security of tourists in the Caucasus. It takes a year, maximum 1.5 years, to create a security system for every resort,” he said. “It is insufficient to buy our equipment and technologies. Professional experience is very important”.

The North Caucasian Resorts Corporation asked ElbitSecurity to make a presentation of possible security solutions. “We think that Israeli security specialists are one of the world’s beset, so our choice of the prospective partner is not accidental,” Corporation Deputy General Director Oleg Zhechko said.

ElbitSecurity is providing comprehensive security solutions for state and private sectors in Israel and clients in Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.

France will contribute one billion euros to the joint venture developing North Caucasian resorts of Russia, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina a week ago.

“That is a very weighty contribution. Hopefully, the joint venture will be a locomotive of the project,” she said. Nabiullina expects the joint venture to be formed before the end of this year.

The North Caucasian tourist cluster will become a good example of public-private partnership, she said. “Private capital can and must come to the tourist industry,” she added.

A decision to form the Russian-French joint venture developing North Caucasian resorts before the end of this year was made a week ago at a meeting of the bilateral working group of the North Caucasian Resorts State Corporation and the French State Holding Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDS).

“The sides confirmed their intention to choose the organizational and legal form of the joint venture and its key areas by September 2011. The joint venture will be formed by the end of this year,” a source at the North Caucasian Resorts Corporation told Itar-Tass. The permanent representative of the French company has started working in Russia, he noted.

The Russian corporation and CDS signed the cooperation agreement at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 17. Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy adopted a joint declaration on the development of the North Caucasus at the G8 Deauville summit earlier.

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