Russia's state natural gas giant Gazprom has won approval to build a skyscraper in St. Petersburg that critics say will ruin the city's protected skyline.

The city council on Tuesday approved plans for building the 1,300-foot structure — more than three times as tall as the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral that now is the city's tallest building.

St. Petersburg had preserved its low-rise skyline and retained its czarist-era image.

UNESCO warns that planned tower could endanger St. Petersburg's status as a world heritage site.

Gazprom is one of Russia's key export earners and wields substantial influence in the country.