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Russia Should Benefit From Kyoto Protocol As Much As It Can - Medvedev

NOVOSIBIRSK. Feb 14 (Interfax) - Russia should derive as much benefits from its participation in the Kyoto Protocol as it can, said First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

"We need to take all available advantages. Participation in the Kyoto Protocol not only provides advantages but also inflicts huge losses on us," Medvedev said at a conference dealing with demography in Novosibirsk.

"Since we have signed (the Kyoto Protocol), we need to receive as much advantages from it as we are entitled to," he said.

Medvedev made this statement in response to a proposal by Kemerovo region Governor Aman Tuleyev, who suggested that methane should be converted into electricity, which, in his view, would solve several problems, including the prevention of methane blasts in mines and the reduction of methane outbursts. In Tuleyev's opinion, methane's conversion into electricity should be funded from revenues from the sale of emission quotas.

Medvedev said, "We have become reasonably affluent to address the environment's protection now," unlike in the 1990s, when the government had more pressing problems to deal with.

The State Duma considered a bill on drinking water on Wednesday, Medvedev said. "This means a reform rather than just an incantation: drink pure water," he said.