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    WHENCE RUSSIA'S GAIN FROM JOINING KYOTO PROTOCOL?

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    MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) - Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol has become a matter of high politics in relations between Russia and the European Union, believes Mikhail Rogankov, acting chairman of the board of the Russian Energy Carbonic Fund.

    "In joining the Kyoto Protocol, not so much economic then political aspects matter. It is an item in the package of general questions of cooperation with the European Union", Rogankov said.

    He is fully in for the Kyoto Protocol, seeing it as the first stage in the long-term solution of the atmospheric-emission issue. "It is barely efficient, but it is only the first try. In case of success, the world will utilise the experience amassed and develop it. The next steps will be more successful and larger in scope", he said.

    In the opinion of the expert, "there are no obstacles, threats or risks" for Russia in ratifying the protocol.

    "If we sit on our hands, we won't be able to sell anything or arrange joint projects to ensure the influx of investments in Russia", Rogankov believes.

    Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol says that the reserve of Russia's 2008-2012 quotas for atmospheric emissions may be partially sold. "Selling much of it is inexpedient. A good reserve should be in store", he said. And explained: "The more we retain our reserve in the first budget period, 2008-2012, they more we can take from this reserve for the next period, in this way securing freedom for economic development".

    Rogankov also said that the Energy Ministry has estimated Russia's expenses in abiding by the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. It is about 300,000 dollars annually - 150,000 dollars of annual dues to the bodies of the Kyoto Protocol and about as much for setting up relative public institutions and maintaining them.

    "Economic efficiency begins when we earn from the sale of quotas more than this amount", Rogankov is sure.

    Earlier, the group Russia and the Kyoto Protocol came to the conclusion that joining the protocol only becomes economically advantageous if Russia can get at least 5 billion dollars from the sale of quotas, which can be used to introduce technologies cutting the emission of greenhouse gases. "In order to preserve a potential for economic growth, Russia is to earn at least five billion dollars annually from the sale of quotas", believes Anna Kashirova, science coordinator of the Russia and the Kyoto Protocol project.

    In her opinion, Russia should seek amendments in the agreement if it is to to gain definite advantages.

    "The conditions of the protocol are discriminatory as regards our country", she said. "For instance, our unique reserve of forests is disregarded. Thanks to forests, Russia provides mankind with 300 million tonnes of oxygen annually".

    The group also proposes nationalisation of the reserve of the greenhouse emission quotas formed from the 1990s economic decline in Russia.

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