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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Protesters Criticize Tower Plans

MTIlya Yashin, head of Yabloko's youth movement, rallying protesters Thursday against Gazprom's plan to build its headquarters in St. Petersburg.
Protests against Gazprom's controversial proposals to build a new skyscraper headquarters in St. Petersburg came to Moscow on Wednseday, when liberal opposition party Yabloko held a demonstration outside the company's monolithic offices.

Standing in front of a dozen chanting activists, Sergei Mitrokhin, Yabloko vice president and a Moscow City Duma deputy, and Mikhail Asamov, a deputy in the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, signed an open letter to Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, demanding that he reconsider the proposals.

"This protest is a sign of solidarity between the two capitals of our country," Mitrokhin said. "This monstrosity is a symbol of who runs this country and whom civil servants here work for."

Arguing that the building should be built on a site outside the city center or be redesigned, Mitrokhin said he could take the protest all the way to President Vladimir Putin, a St. Petersburg native.

"I am sure that Putin, as a [proud St. Petersburger], does not want to see St. Petersburg ruined," he said.

Protesters argue that the 400-meter skyscraper would irreparably damage the city's historic skyline and could lead to the city being removed from UNESCO's World Heritage list.

Following a contest that included some of the world's best-known architects, the contract was awarded to London-based architects RMJM in December.