Gazprom said it has been cleared by Russian authorities to build a tower in the historic heart of St Petersburg despite a wide campaign to defend the unique skyline of Russia's second-biggest city.
According to a conclusion by GlavGosExperetiza (the Russian state appraisals department), the project's documentation complies with all requirements and standards," a Gazprom unit in charge of the construction said in a statement.
The UN cultural organisation Unesco earlier warned Russia it could exclude St Petersburg from its list of world heritage sites if the tower is built, as it would dominate the canals and baroque houses of the city founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 as Russia's window on Europe.
Dubai's Arabtec Holding, which won the contract to build the first stage of the tower in April 2008, saw its shares rally on the news.
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2011 and finish in 2016.
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