New Russian scare for Kyoto protocol

European groups dispute significance of Putin advisor suggestion that Russia will not ratify

A senior Russian official caused panic at the world climate change talks in Milan on Tuesday by suggesting that Russia would not ratify the Kyoto protocol "in its current form". Many groups - especially European ones - have responded by claiming that it is too early to write the treaty off.

The Kyoto protocol cannot enter force without Russian participation. For months now speculation has raged over when and even whether it will ratify. Tuesday's comments by Andrei Illarionov, economics advisor to Russian president Vladimir Putin, sparked media reports proclaiming the protocol dead.

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