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Putin Advisor Rules Out Russian Ratification of Kyoto Protocol - 2003-12-02

A senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin has ruled out ratifying the Kyoto protocol to curb greenhouse gases for now, saying the pact places significant limitations on the country's economic development.

The presidential adviser, Andrei Illarionov, told reporters in Moscow that the Kyoto protocol, in its present form, is against Russian interests.

Mr. Illarionov says it would be unfair for Russia to curb emissions and stymie economic growth while the United States and other nations, which he says account for the bulk of global emissions, refuse to join the pact.

The Kyoto protocol aims to reduce the emissions of so-called greenhouse gases that scientists believe are responsible for higher global temperatures and extreme weather patterns. Russian ratification is needed to bring the treaty into force, after the United States withdrew from it last year.

Mr. Illarionov also says entry into the World Trade Organization remains one of Russia's top priorities. But he said that does not mean Russia will agree to join the WTO under any terms.