The head of Russia’s environmental protection agency said on Tuesday that Russia’s efforts to fight climate change have been “abandoned” and that it is now focused on fighting wildfires.
Sergei Markov, the director general of the state environmental protection service, said Russia has lost control of its forests, lakes, rivers and coastal areas and is now focusing on fighting “extremist” activities in the country’s arid regions.
He also said Russia was “at war” with radical Islamic groups and is trying to eradicate “terrorist organizations”.
Markov’s comments came days after a US State Department report accused Russia of failing to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus, which has infected at least 2,400 people and killed more than 4,000 in the world’s third-largest economy.
The report was based on interviews with people who had fled the country in the past three years and said there was evidence Russia was trying to keep the Ebola outbreak under control.
The outbreak of the virus in the Russian Far East, in the North Caucasus, has killed more people in the last three years than the outbreak of any other region in the US.