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Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia will 'hasten steps towards' ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, the treaty aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The move comes despite recent recommendations from the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) that ratification would not be in Russia's interests. An RAS climate change panel suggested that Russia would lose out by ratifying as its growing economy would soon drive the country's emissions above 1990 levels — the limit set under Kyoto terms.

Russia's ratification will bring the treaty into force. And some observers suggest that Putin intentionally delayed a decision on ratification for political rather than economic or environmental reasons.

Link to full news story in Science

Reference: Science 304, 1225 (2004)