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    RUSSIA'S ENTRY INTO THE WTO SHOULD NOT DEPEND ON MOSCOW'S RATIFICATION OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL

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    MOSCOW, February 19, 2004. / RIA Novosti correspondent /. In the opinion of Arkady Volsky, chairman of the Russian Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Union (RSPP), Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation should not be tied to Moscow's ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

    When addressing a Moscow conference Wednesday, he accused the European Union of placing exorbitant demands on Russia, including by making the country's entry into that organisation dependent on whether Russia will ratify or not ratify the Kyoto protocol. Meanwhile, Russia's contribution to the reduction of air polluting emissions was appreciated by the world community, primarily the European Union, the Russian politician said.

    Volsky also said that Moscow's decision not to ratify the Kyoto protocol now did not at all mean that this idea was rejected once and for all. "We should examine both positive and negative aspects of this ratification," the RSPP's head added.

    At the same time, he stressed that negotiations on the Kyoto protocol should not be conducted without due account taken of strategic interests of Russia as a major potential seller of hydrocarbon raw materials.

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