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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Tower Finds an Admirer

St. Petersburg citizens may be up in arms against Gazprom's proposed 400-meter tower, but the project has at least one unlikely supporter.

One of the first moves of new Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov after his inauguration Feb. 14 was to tell Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller that he could build Gazprom-City, the controversial business center set to rise in the northern capital, in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat, Tvoi Den newspaper reported last week.

Berdymukhammedov has promised that no one would protest against the project in his country. Turkmenistan is an authoritarian country where any dissent is heavily repressed, international human rights organizations allege.

The Gazprom tower, which will rise over the Okha River, has been dubbed "the Corn on the Cob" by St. Petersburg residents and "the Devil's spit" by legendary musician Boris Grebenshchikov, who hails from the city. The tower will be the focal point of Gazprom-City, a multimillion-dollar project, which is expected to be completed in 2016.

Critics of the tower say it will be a blot on the landscape in a city with predominantly neoclassical architecture.

The Turkmen leader reportedly said he would be glad to have such a beautiful building in the city and that it would create jobs for his people, the Rosbalt news agency reported.

Gazprom refused to confirm or deny the report.