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Russia threatens ‘radical measures’ in response to Kyoto Protocol extension

By Olga Dobrovidova

Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have agreed what they term a “series of measures” in response to an agreement at the UN climate talks in Doha last December to extend the Kyoto Protocol.

Last week’s meeting in Minsk established that all are still unhappy at an amendment to the Kyoto treaty that means their emissions must remain lower than they were between 2008-2010.

This is a problem for economies in transition, who had hoped to increase emissions while they continue to grow and raise the standard of living.

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs official Oleg Shamanov told RTCC that the four countries shared concerns over a number of ‘procedural violations’ at the end of the talks, with the Qatari presidency openly ignoring protests, and an apparent lack of consensus in adoption of the package.

It is still unclear what measures Russia plans to take in response to the Kyoto extension – apart from vociferous complaints

Aside from this exchange of grievances, experts also agreed on “a whole set of measures to ensure the interests of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine on national, regional and international levels”, he said.

Declining to elaborate on that set of measures, Shamanov noted that all things that EITs take issue with “cannot but have their consequences for the process of accepting the Doha amendment”.

“For the four countries, there’s virtually no sense in accepting the amendment as it was pushed through”, said Shamanov.

He went on to remind about the growing level of “legal nihilism” that Russia and the others see in the talks and noted that unless these “negative tendencies” are dealt with, work under Durban platform could eventually lead to a form of collateral damage.

“This situation cannot just be disregarded. Unless radical measures are taken to fight these negative tendencies, they could seriously impact the prospects of designing and adopting the new global climate agreement”, he said.

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