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Russia a Step Closer to Ratifying Kyoto says WWF

Statement by Jennifer Morgan, Director, International Climate Change Program, World Wildlife Fund

WASHINGTON - World Wildlife Fund has learned that Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed key ministers to sign the Kyoto ratification documents. Putin's move follows a meeting between the president and a group of close advisors last week. Once the ministers have signed the documents, the package will be presented to the Russian parliament. The parliament could ratify the Kyoto Protocol within the next few weeks.

"This is a significant step towards Russian ratification of Kyoto," said Jennifer Morgan, director of the WWF International Climate Change Program. "The parliament should act quickly on ratification and President Putin should continue to show commitment to the battle against climate change."

The Kyoto protocol on climate change is an international agreement setting targets for cuts in industrialized countries' heat-trapping gas emissions. Once Russia has ratified, the protocol would come into force 90 days later.

Note to editors:
The Ministers asked to sign off on the ratification documents are Yuri Trutnev, Minister for Natural Resources; German Gref, Minister for Economic Development and Trade; Victor Khristenko, Minister for Industry and Energy; Alexey Kudrin, Ministry of Finance; Yuri Chaika, Minister of Justice; and the Director of the State Hydrometeorology Service, Alexander Bedritsky. Once the package is signed, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will then send the package of ratification documents to the Parliament.