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EU wants to see Russian action on Kyoto treaty

Date: 12-May-03
Country: SWEDEN

Under a complex weighting system, Russia's ratification is crucial for the protocol to come into force after the withdrawal of the United States, the world's top air polluter.

"Their intentions are clear. Now it's just a matter of them getting it done," Wallstrom said. "I guess it's in the hands of (President Vladimir) Putin himself and (Prime Minister Mikhail) Kasyanov."

An important checkpoint to measure Russian action would be the EU-Russia summit in St Petersburg in late May, she said.

Wallstrom made clear Russia could not expect any more help from the EU to finance the treaty.

"Of course it's about money, about rubles. They are trying to calculate how much it (the treaty) will give," she said.

Wallstrom said the United States, which opposes the treaty, was also actively working to get Russia on its side.

Another problem was that the consequences of global warming were not taken seriously by many in Russia, which stretches across the Arctic Circle, she said.

"The basic knowledge of climate change is very bad," she said. "Even some scientists seem to claim that maybe it would even be good for Russia."

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