Lawmakers of Russia's second city of St. Petersburg have ruled against holding a referendum on Gazprom's controversial project to build a skyscraper in the historic center.
The potential construction location, within the territory of a UNESCO World Heritage site, includes a historical monument, the Swedish Nienshants fortress, which is protected under a 2001 law as a special zone in which buildings can be no higher than 40 meters.
The $2 billion project, sponsored by the Russian energy giant Gazprom, is expected to be fully completed by 2016, with the main tower to be finished by 2012.
Hundreds of people gathered in St. Petersburg in mid-October to protest against the Gazprom tower plans.
ST. PETERSBURG, December 23 (RIA Novosti)