Sunday, 19 June 2011

Moscow motorists take price protest to the Kremlin

Traffic and cops are set to clash on the streets around the Kremlin on Thursday evening as protests against fuel prices intensify.

The Federation of Automobile Owners of Russia is planning a rally against rising gasoline costs, and the organization’s head, Sergei Kanayev,informed he wanted to take the fight to the Kremlin.

“We will protest against rising prices by driving around the streets next to the Kremlin, and along the embankment, from 6 pm,” he said.

Despite hitting the center of town during the evening rush-hour, Kanayev said there were no plans to disrupt traffic and cause added delays for motorists.

Instead protestors wanted to make their point by circling the hub of power, sounding their horns to express their discontent.

However, police have said that they will prevent the unauthorized demonstration, saying it could cause accidents.

In particular, they pointed out that horns should only be used as a warning to other road users.

he rally echoes protests elsewhere in Russia earlier this year, sparked by anger over price rises and fears that supplies were being deliberately restricted by a cartel of oil companies.

They prompted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to call for action on shortages and prices, but the complex politics of oil pricing have made it hard for the authorities to curb price rises.

And not even falling global oil prices have eased the problem: Rosstat reported that in the first week of June gasoline prices went up 0.7 per cent and diesel was up 0.3 per cent

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