April 27, 1997 in Nation/World

Russians Approve Antarctic Protection

Compiled From Wire Services

Russia ratified an international agreement to protect the Antarctic environment Friday, leaving Japan as the only signatory that has not approved it.

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of Parliament, gave final approval to the 1991 environmental protocol to the Antarctic Treaty, an international accord.

The document calls for the removal of radioactive and other hazardous wastes from the Antarctic, which has been a site of heavy scientific research.

Twenty-six countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, and all but Japan have now ratified the environmental protocol, according to the Antarctica Project, a nonprofit environmental group based in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Congress approved the protocol in September, and the ratification became official this month.

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