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When the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in December 1997, a series of domestic measures, " the Kyoto mechanisms and sinks" , were introduced to meet the emission reduction targets in a 'flexible' and cost-effective way. This opens up the opportunity for Russia to play an important role through emissions trading and joint implementation. The Russian natural gas sector will be an important player in Russia's response to Kyoto, both as host to emission reduction projects and as provider of a low-carbon fuel. This paper analyzes Russian climate policy and the special place of the natural gas sector, and its potentially powerful combination with the Kyoto mechanisms.