KRASNOGORSK (Moscow Region), October 16 (RIA Novosti) - Authorities in the Moscow Region insist that residents and ecologists should be consulted before Moscow City Hall goes ahead with plans to disperse winter clouds before they reach the Russian capital.
The Moscow Region surrounds but does not include the capital, which has decided to experiment with cloud-seeding this winter to reduce snowfall in the city.
Cloud-seeding operations are due to take place between November 15, 2009 and March 15, 2010, with the cost estimated at 180 million rubles ($6 million). The Moscow authorities predict savings of 300 million rubles ($10 million) on snow-clearance operations.
Moscow Region Ecology Minister Alla Kachan said on Thursday that the matter needs to be assessed by ecology experts and to be discussed with people living in the region.
"The population of Moscow region is concerned by this issue. We have received a lot of messages,” she said.
Cloud seeding to ensure good weather is relatively common for major celebrations, such as Victory Day or Russia Day, but the plans for winter-long operations are unprecedented.
The process uses particulate matter such as dry ice, silver iodide and cement powder to create an intensive crystallization process within the clouds and cause precipitation.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.