RUSSIAN PREMIER SIGNS RESOLUTION ON KYOTO PROTOCOL

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MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov signed a resolution on the approval of the Kyoto protocol, the government press service reported Wednesday.

The Cabinet approved the Kyoto protocol at its Sept. 30 session.

"The government rules: to approve and submit to the president of the Russian Federation for submission for ratification to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation the Kyoto protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change signed on behalf of the Russian Federation in New York on March 11, 1999," reads the resolution.

The Cabinet supported on Sept. 30 the draft federal law "On ratification of the Kyoto protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change." Interested departments have been instructed to prepare in three months' time a complex plan of actions on realization of this document.

Russia signed the Kyoto protocol in 1997.

Russia's joining the Kyoto protocol with its 20% of emissions of carbon dioxide (other countries who signed it have a 40% share) actualizes the document (for it to become valid, it's necessary for the countries-parties to the protocol to share at least 50% of emissions), as earlier the U.S., Australia, and 11 OPEC member states voiced either their withdrawal from the protocol or their refusal to join it due to economic reasons.

The Federal Assembly (two-house parliament) of Russia will ratify the Kyoto protocol, believes upper house chairman Sergei Mironov.

"There are all grounds to believe that Russia, having signed and ratified the agreement, will not suffer much," Mr. Mironov told a Wednesday press conference.

He stressed that in his opinion, joining the Kyoto protocol is rather a political than an economic decision. "There is political pragmatism, and in the long run, I believe, we can ratify the Kyoto protocol provided a number of conditions," said Mr. Mironov.

He explained that these might beoral agreements.

"As for me, having received pragmatic explanations from the government on ratification of the Kyoto protocol, I am ready to back it," he said.

Mr. Mironov added that for the protocol to be ratified by both houses of the Federal Assembly, the government had to provide clear explanations. "When we know what Russia's advantage is, in the long run pragmatism will dominate," Mr. Mironov said.

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