MIRONOV AGAINST PRIVATE PROPERTY IN FORESTS

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MOSCOW, March 30, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Sergei Mironov, the speaker of the Federation Council (the upper house of parliament), will act categorically against the introduction of private property in forests.

"I am an opponent of making forests private property," Mr. Mironov told journalists on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the Council of Legislators, which is made up of the heads of regional parliaments, will discuss a draft of the Forest Code, which was prepared by the Federation Council. The code includes a section on private rights in forests.

"I think it is very important to remove the private property rights in forests," Mr. Mironov said. "Private property rights in forests should not be in the present version of the Forest Code."

According to the speaker, many members of the Federation Council and the Council of Legislators hold a similar opinion.

"I do not think the draft of the Forest Code has been changed enough to be brought to the parliament yet," Mr. Mironov said.

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