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Russia's Medvedev to attend climate change summit on Dec. 17-18

MOSCOW, December 10 (RIA Novosti)-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will attend the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen on December 17-18, the Kremlin press office said on Thursday.

The conference, which puts together about 15,000 participants from 192 countries, including the heads of state and governments, opened on December 8 and will run until December 18.

The UN climate change conference in the Danish capital was expected to result in a new international document intended to replace the Kyoto Protocol, some elements of which expire in 2012.

Although the conference had just started, there were already signs of disagreements between the negotiating parties, Oleg Shamanov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's department of global environmental problems, said on Tuesday.

"Disagreements in the positions of developing and developed countries are especially obvious," Shamanov said.

He said that "developing countries vigorously refuse to undertake any binding obligations," adding that they were demanding developed states undertake additional obligations to cut emissions of greenhouse gases after 2012, while refusing to cut their own emissions.

Shamanov said Russia seeks to reach a "common, universal, international binding agreement," which would include all climate-related issues and involve all countries. The world's main carbon gases emitters, be they developed such as the U.S., or developing such as India, China and Brazil, should be involved in the agreement, he said.

Some experts believe the summit is more likely to just outline principles and directions for a post-Kyoto framework.

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