Russia to get national park boost in next decade, Putin vows

A total of 20 national parks and 11 natural reserves will be opened in Russia over the next ten years, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

“Eleven new state-funded natural reserves and 20 national parks will appear in Russia in the next decade,” Putin said, adding that another nine reserves and two national parks will be significantly enlarged.

Speaking at a United Russia party meeting in the northwestern city of Cherepovets, the premier also said the government had set up a 1.5 billion-ruble ($50 million) project to develop eco-tourism in twelve Russia’s protected areas.

Putin also said that Russia would continue to clean up its Arctic territory, which has been polluted with industrial contaminants from other regions.

“There are from 40 to 60 tons of oil spilled at the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Everything should be cleaned since it is leaking and rusting,” Putin said.

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