JOINING KYOTO PROTOCOL WON'T INFLUENCE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SAYS GREF

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MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's joining the Kyoto protocol won't affect the rates of the country's economic growth, Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said Thursday while speaking to journalists.

"I do not support the viewpoint that ratification of the Kyoto protocol will substantially influence the rates of economic growth. It won't in any way," said Mr. Gref.

He believes that the protocol shouldn't be overestimated from the point of view of radical improvement of the environment situation. "It is rather of a symbolic nature. But this is a symbol of Russia's participation in the process of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases," said Mr. Gref.

At the same time, he believes that Russia's joining the Kyoto protocol will stimulate Russian enterprises to technical retooling and reduction of power consuming.

"I am for joining. I believe this is a progressive step," he emphasized.

In turn, Russian presidential advisor Andrei Illarionov, while speaking at a government session, said again that ratification of the Kyoto protocol will not allow to resolve the task of doubling the GDP.

"In conditions of restrictions established by the first phase of the Kyoto protocol [2008-2012], the GDP can't be doubled. This is the reality we must understand," said the Russian presidential advisor.

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