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Part of the Khimki forest has already been cut down
The Russian government has announced that a project to build a motorway through the Khimki forest near Moscow will go ahead. President Dmitry Medvedev put the project on hold this summer after protests about the route for the new Moscow-St Petersburg motorway.
The plan has divided public opinion and several journalists who reported on the row were attacked and badly hurt.
Ecologists say there was no proper public debate on the issue.
Cabinet ministers said the Khimki stretch would be ready by 2014.
The planned multi-lane motorway is meant to run alongside an existing two-lane road between Russia's two main cities.
Campaigners argue the new motorway could easily be re-routed, without damaging the woodland.
The forest has already been partly chopped down.
'All factors considered'
Speaking in St Petersburg, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said a government commission had decided the project should be resumed.
The decision was taken, he said, based on "all factors - including the transport one, the economic, social and legal ones, as well as the time limits for the implementation of the project".
"On the whole, the need to build this road is, in my opinion, supported by everybody," he added.