17 May 2019, 13:42
Yekaterinburg mayor to meet with group of protesters against church construction in public garden
Yekaterinburg, May 17, Interfax - Yekaterinburg Mayor Alexander Vysokinsky said he will meet with the group of city residents participating in unauthorized protests against the construction of the Church of St. Catherine in the public garden in the city's Oktyabrskaya Square.
"We will be meeting tomorrow [on May 18]. [...] We will ensure that citizens can see this discussion," Vysokinsky told reporters on Friday, adding that the meeting will be broadcast on the Internet.
Vysokinsky said he had reached an agreement in a meeting with the protesters on May 16 that he would organize a group of 30 people who will come to the administration to meet with the mayor for a discussion.
"It was agreed that 30 people would come [...] It was quite difficult to have a discussion in the public garden yesterday [...] Discussions should take place in a civilized atmosphere," Vysokinsky said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that a church is meant to unite rather than divide people. In this regard, "some steps are needed to resolve this issue for the benefit of those people who actually reside there," he said.
"There is an easy way, which is to hold a poll, and those in the minority must give way to the majority. That's the principle of democracy. But at the same time, we do have to take into account the opinion and interests of the minority," Putin said.
The Yekaterinburg City Hall said it intends to hold an independent poll, which begins on Friday.
Unauthorized protests against the construction of St. Catherine's Church in the park on Oktyabrskaya Square in the center of Yekaterinburg began on May 13. Dozens of protesters have been detained, and 102 administrative protocols have been issued to 98 persons. A total of 30 people have been arrested.
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