Ruling party in rare appeal to Medvedev on motorway

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Ruling party United Russia on Thursday made an unprecedented appeal to President Dmitry Medvedev to stop the building of a motorway through a forest, days after a protest attracted thousands in Moscow.

"United Russia has turned to the President of Russia, D.A. Medvedev, with the request to halt the construction of the highway through the Khimki forest," it said in a statement on its website.

United Russia, whose overall leader is strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and which dominates parliament, has become known for consistently rubber-stamping Kremlin policies without quibbles.

Some 2,000 people turned out Sunday for a banned concert in central Moscow protesting plans to build a motorway through the Khimki forest north of the Russian capital, a far higher figure than in previous opposition protests.

© 2010 AFP

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