Greenpeace on Tuesday accused the Russian state-run pipeline operator Transneft of ignoring the ecological concerns of a government ministry by pressing ahead with plans to build an oil pipeline around Baikal, the world's largest freshwater lake.
Russia's Natural Resources Ministry in June ordered a halt to surveying work for the oil pipeline to Asian markets over ecology fears. Conservationists say the project would pose a serious ecological threat in case of a spill, the AP says.
"Transneft is continuing to plan this route, they are ignoring not only us but a government agency," said Mikhail Krendlin from the Russian branch of Greenpeace. Ecologists are lobbying for an alternative route 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Baikal.