September 11, 2008

Russian TV Reports on Countrywide Fuel Price Protest

A protest against rising fuel prices took place in all Russian regions on 10 September, corporate-owned Russian Ren TV reported on the same day.

Motorists held protests and motor rallies. The wave of protests was organized by trade union activists; they planned to stage pickets near the buildings of Russia's largest oil companies, the report said. The correspondent added that rallies resembled May Day celebrations because people were holding flowers and taking pictures, and some protesters did not even know how much petrol costs in Moscow. However, there are people who cannot afford to fill up their cars with petrol, the correspondent said.

The correspondent interviewed several protesters. A long- distance lorry driver expressed the hope that "the government will pay attention to our action and will find ways to influence those oil magnates".

In Nizhniy Novgorod 300 people participated in the rally. Motorists were supported by representatives of other trade unions that are demanding state control over oil companies. Similar views were expressed by the chairman of the trade union of transport sector workers in Sverdlovsk Region, Svetlana Bocharnikova, who said that "the state should, it must control rising fuel prices".

Originally published by Ren TV, Moscow, in Russian 0830 10 Sep 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.