Trouble in St Petersburg

Russian Ministry of Economic Development adopts resolutions destroying the European largest field genebank and replacing it with commercial cottages.

That’s quite a title. It refers to the Vavilov Institute’s Pavlovsk Experiment Station.

The Station was organised in 1926 near St. Petersburg. Being one of the major stations of VIR, it studies perennial grasses and cruciferous tubers cultivated in the Non-Black-Soil area. There are over 3000 accessions of fruit and berry plants maintained in vivo in its gardens. More than 40 of these fruit samples have been commercialized. This station operates an experiment farm, a quarantine nursery and greenhouses.

The article itself piles on the pain. The staff are doing what they can. Strongly worded letters have apparently been written:

The administration of the Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry (VIR) and the staff of Pavlovsk Experiment Station have forwarded open letters to the President of the Russian Federation D.A. Medvedev and the Prime Minister V.V. Putin seeking their support in shielding the world’s heritage against irresponsible acts of certain Russian functionaries.

Our feelers are out. We’ll keep you posted.

5 Replies to “Trouble in St Petersburg”

  1. Sent a letter to President Medvedyev today. Would like to know of any updates from the most recent activities. I heard an NPR news article this weekend saying the ministry would make a decision the following day.

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