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Russia Warns Against 'Hasty' Moves On Climate Change

MOSCOW. July 2 (Interfax) - Russia on Monday played down the dangers of global warming and warned against "hasty selective actions" on climate change "that may ultimately inflict greater damage on the economy and environment than the national cataclysms that are forecast."

"Russia is one of the active participants in the international climate process. We have always consistently stood for the consolidation of efforts to that end by all countries.

It will be an appropriate reminder that it was Russia's decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol that enabled this important document to come into force," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko told a session in Geneva of ECOSOS.

The text of his speech is posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website, www.mid.ru.

"A new global agreement on joint action may be drafted under the United Nations' aegis before the end of 2009 with the participation of not only developed countries but also key emitters of greenhouse gases in developing states," Yakovenko said.

"In setting potential new post-Kyoto commitments, it is important to link them to the results of the fulfillment by countries in the 2008- 2012 implementation period of commitments they have already made under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, thereby ensuring the setting of realistic and achievable objectives," he said.

"We believe that there is no reason to submit to panic and to apocalyptic scenarios of the effects of climate change. We see such changes in a long-term context that rules out emergency measures and tight restrictions on emissions of greenhouse gases that would run against the interests of economic growth and development," Yakovenko said.

"The shaping of responsible long-term approaches to climate change should not amount to hasty selective actions that may ultimately inflict much greater damage on the economy and environment than the national cataclysms that are forecast," he said.