With Russia's approval, the much-awaited Antarctic whale sanctuary will come into effect on December 6. Russia's agreement is a defeat for Japan's campaign to resume commercial whaling using Russian whalers. Now, Japan is also expected to give up its opposition to whale-saving campaigns.
Russia's decision followed a fierce struggle between environmentalists in Moscow, represented by the environment ministry, and the commercial lobby, which has high-level connections in the committee for fisheries and in the foreign ministry. Eventually, the environment ministry secured the support of 4 ministries, including the committee of fisheries.
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