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KIEV (Kyodo) Ukraine, the first foreign government to sell greenhouse gas emission rights to Japan, will use the proceeds to introduce environmental technology solely from Japan, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said.

Tymoshenko, scheduled to visit Japan starting Wednesday, said during an interview Friday that Ukraine chose Japan as “a strategic partner as it has the best technology in the world” to modernize Ukraine’s Soviet-era production equipment and infrastructure.

Her comments came after the Japanese and Ukrainian governments signed a contract March 18 under which Ukraine will sell 30 million tons of emission rights to help Japan, a major greenhouse gas emitter, meet its Kyoto Protocol commitment to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gas.

Japan is required to cut such emissions by 6 percent from its 1990 levels during the period between 2008 and 2012.

The 48-year-old Tymoshenko said her country will look only to Japanese companies when deciding on how the proceeds from the carbon sale will be spent. The use of money earned from selling such rights is limited to investments in environmental technology, but the choice of specific projects and companies is in the hands of Kiev.

She said Ukraine and Japan could cooperate on energy-consuming heating systems, steel and chemical plants, and water services.

Under the latest emission trading deal, Ukraine agreed to sell 15 million tons of emission rights, which could translate into around ¥40 billion at the recent market price, each in fiscal 2008 and 2009.

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