N.I.Vavilov Institute of Plant Genetic Resources

N.I.Vavilov Institute of Plant Genetic Resources (VIR)


    Dmitry Medvedev charged the Government to secure for the Pavlovsk Experiment Station land plots occupied with a unique plant collection. To protect the scientific World heritage the President proposed to adopt a special federal law. Scientists hope that the instruction of the President will help to resolve the conflict, which has continued for more than one year. November 9th a presidential instruction "on securing land plots for the Pavlovsk Experiment Station” (PDF) was published. Besides that, Dmitry Medvedev charged the Government to develop and pass to the State Duma a law regulating a legal status of such land plots. Biologists have reason for optimism, however, a very vague one so far.

    "Within one week the Ministry of Agriculture should submit a draft law, previously agreed with all the ministries concerned, to the Government. We jointly settled this issue. It`s a white side. But there is a black one: residential board of the Federal Property Management Agency starts a new inspection", - said Nikolay Dzyubenko, Director General of the N.I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry (VIR).

    In the act, scientists say, St.-Petersburg branch of the Federal Property Management Agency qualifies 4 plots of the Pavlovsk Experiment Station as "unused" and proposes to build cottages there.

    "The housing construction can`t be conducted next to the collection. It`s clear that everything will be dug over, fenced, processed with chemicals, in 2-4 years collection will disappear and everything will be buried", - believes Fjodor Mikhovich, Director of the Pavlovsk Experiment Station of VIR.

    The residential board of the Federal Property Management Agency refused to give any official comments, but in the private talk they stressed: there are no discrepancies with the instruction given by the President. After all, it clearly states: "To take a decision on securing land plots necessary for preservation of the plant genetic resources collection". After all, according to the commission`s opinion, Pavlovsk Station doesn`t need disputed plots at all.

    However, representatives of the Federal Property Management Agency and the Russian Housing Development Foundation in Moscow were more cautious about their comments. "No doubt, the presidential instruction will be fully implemented; we will obtain a relevant decision from the Government, and I am sure, it will settle all the disputed issues", - reported Alexander Komarov, official representative of the Federal Property Management Agency.

    "The Foundation will naturally implement the instruction of both the President and the Government on conveyance of plots in the extent and quantity specified by the Government", - promised Alexey Fursin, Vice-Director of the Russian Housing Development Foundation.

    While disputes related to plots are boiling, scientists continue their work: this summer they, for instance, collected in Pavlovsk 120 tons of seed potatoes of all local varieties. In 2012 crossing experiments in certain cereals will be devoted to the academician Nikolay Vavilov. After all, the whole world will celebrate 125-anniversary from his birth.

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