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    RUSSIA'S WTO MEMBERSHIP SHOULD NOT BE LINKED TO KYOTO PROTOCOL RATIFICATION

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    MOSCOW, February 4th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russian Power Minister Igor Yusufov believes it unfair that Russia's joining the WTO is linked to its ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

    "Some experts conducting WTO-related negotiations with Russia are trying to tie the Kyoto Protocol issue with our accession to the WTO," Yusufov told newsmen on Wednesday. "We find this approach inappropriate." "This is detrimental to our interests because such conditions were not applied to our countries, and we are not ready to give up. We will continue the negotiations," stressed the minister.

    When commenting on the prospects of Russia signing up to the Kyoto Protocol, Yusufov said, "We need to think it over and calculate how advantageous it is for Russia." In particular, he recalled, the Kyoto Protocol envisages limitations for industrial growth and quotas for emissions into the atmosphere." "By 2010-2012, we will reach the Soviet level of industrial output and be able to buy quotas for emissions," said the minister.

    "We would not like our joining the Kyoto Protocol to obstruct our economic growth after 2010," stressed Yusufov.

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