Bloomberg reported today that President Medvedev has come out against the building of the 403-meter Gazprom tower, locally referred to known as the ‘corncob’, a giant structure that would, if built, dominate the St Petersburg skyline as audaciously as the company controls the gas market. Medvedev reportedly concurs with UNESCO recommendations that St Petersburg’s heritage status will be endangered by the construction of such a center. From Reuters:
“St Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko and other officials which said the president wanted officials to take note of UNESCO’s position. “He (Medvedev) took particular note of the UNESCO decision, which calls for a halt to all work on the building in Saint Petersburg of the Okhta Centre and consider alternatives in terms of its height,” Kommersant quoted the letter as saying. Medvedev noted “the importance of these recommendations to maintain a constructive dialogue with UNESCO and to prevent harm to Russia’s reputation,” the letter said.”
Obviously the alleged move, given the Kremlin’s inseparability fromGazprom and the fact that Medvedev was a former company chairman, may seem like a small act of sedition on the President’s part. A prescientarticle from RFE/RLlast year saw the seeds of a possible revolt, and attributed it to the fact that the President’s sphere of influence is so limited that he can only take a stand on matters of superficial importance. (See the article here.) Perhaps we can conclude that Medevev’s complicity with the UN on this issue only reveals how little stature he has.