Nornickel’s fine will be used for the Arctic | Polarjournal
Russian President Vladimir Putin sharply attacked the Nornickel CEO and local authorities during a video conference with government officials in June 2020. (Photo: Alexei Nikolsky)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the fine of 1.62 billion euros paid by the mining company Nornickel after a spill of fuel will be used to improve the ecology of the region. The May 2020 incident was the country’s worst Arctic environmental disaster.

Clean-up operations in the Norilsk tundra were extremely difficult due to the extent of the disaster. (Photo: Nornickel)

The leakage of 21,000 tons of diesel fuel into the waters and underground from a ruptured storage tank had angered Putin. At first everything was covered up and only belatedly reported. Putin had asked the relevant authorities at the time whether it was: “normal that the president of Russia has to learn about such incidents from Social media”.

Nornickel was fined 1.62 billion euros by a Russian court in February. Because Nornickel did not appeal this ruling, the court’s order is now final.

The ruptured storage tank for diesel fuel. Poor maintenance and lack of control led to the disaster. (Photo: Irina Yarinskaya)

“I ask you to ensure that this payment is used primarily to improve the environmental situation in the Arctic city of Norilsk itself and the surrounding region in the medium and long term,” Putin told a government meeting on March 10, 2021.

Vladimir Putin continued: “I think we can say with satisfaction that the company is fulfilling its obligations. We hope that this will continue to be the case”.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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