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Putin Voices Clear Support for Russian Ratification of the Kyoto Climate Treaty

WWF Welcomes Statement by President Putin and Urges Action by Duma

WASHINGTON- World Wildlife Fund welcomes President Putin's first clear statement in support of Russian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol today and urged him to advise the Duma to begin the necessary procedures to finalize ratification as soon as possible.

In a press conference earlier today, President Putin stated, "We will rapidly move towards ratification of this Protocol." In past statements, Putin has only stated that Russia was considering ratification.

"Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is in the interest of the Russian state - its people, its economy, its environment," said Alexey Kokorin of WWF's Climate Change Program in Russia. "We urge President Putin to deliver on his promise and advise the lower house of the Russian parliament to begin ratification procedures immediately."

While WWF sees Putin's clear statement as a significant step forward, it notes that he must move the Russian government to submit the ratification bill to the lower house of Parliament-the Duma-in order to complete the ratification process.

The Kyoto Protocol - the world's only international agreement to reduce heat-trapping CO2 emissions - will only become international law once the United States or Russia ratifies. Due to the withdrawal of the United States, Russia must ratify the Kyoto Protocol in order for it to enter into force.