French President Jacques Chirac has highly praised Russia on its approval of the Kyoto Protocol, a greenhouse gas emissions limitation treaty, the Itar-Tass News Agency reported Sunday.
During a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chirac said the Russia's ratification of the protocol "is a weighty contribution to the international cooperation, which is valued high in Europe and the world," said Putin's press secretary Alexei Gromov.
The two presidents also discussed topical international issues and bilateral relations during the telephone conversation, which was held on the initiative of Chirac, according to Gromov.
The State Duma, or lower house of Russian parliament, on Friday approved the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which obliges industrialized signatory countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 2008-2012 as compared with their 1990 levels.
Under a complex weighing system, the treaty cannot come into force until Russia, responsible for 17 percent of the world's dioxide emissions, ratifies the deal.
Duma's ratification is essential for pushing the number of industrialized signatories over a key threshold to turn the draft deal into an international treaty.
The protocol still needs approval of the upper house of the parliament and the signature of Putin to bring it into effect.
(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2004)