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Russia clarifies Position on Kyoto Protocol

Milan, Italy - The recent statement by Russia's deputy economy minister, Mukhamed Tsikhanov, clarifies that Russia is still moving towards ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, according to Greenpeace and WWF, participating in the Climate Change Conference in Milan.

The statement from Tsikhanov that "There are no decisions about ratification apart from the fact that we are moving towards ratification" contradicts misleading statements by Mr. Illarionov yesterday and reinforces previous statements by President Putin on this matter.

Jennifer Morgan, the head of WWF's Climate Change program, said that Tsikhanov's statement demonstrates the ongoing high level discussions on ratification occurring in the capital and reinforces the President's words to world leaders over the last weeks and months. "President Putin's statements over the last weeks and months hold true. Russia is considering the matter of ratification carefully and a positive decision could come in 2004, according to deputy minister Tsikhanov."

"This back and forth is indicative of the games being played by the opponents of Kyoto, using every opportunity possible to falsely call the Kyoto Protocol dead," said Steven Guilbeault, Greenpeace International Climate Campaigner. "Over fifty countries have ratified since the Bush Administration pulled out of the agreement, demonstrating the commitment by the world community to tackling climate change."

Note to editors: The Tsikhanov statement referred to in this release was made at a news briefing in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday, December 3, 2003.