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Putin to stay at home instead of travelling to COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, but Russia will participate – Kremlin

Putin to stay at home instead of travelling to COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, but Russia will participate – Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow in person, but the country will be represented in one shape or form, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

That is despite Peskov’s assertion that global warming is one of the top priorities of current Russian foreign policy, a topic Putin has repeatedly discussed in recent months.

“Unfortunately, he will not fly to Glasgow,” the Kremlin spokesman said. “Of course, the Russian side will be there, and we are in contact with the organizers.”

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It is expected that Putin will still take part in the international event, with Peskov revealing that Russia had asked whether it would be possible to speak via video link.

Putin has significantly reduced his foreign travel since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and recently revealed that he would not travel to the G20 summit in Rome later this month either. The last time he went abroad was in June, when he met US President Joe Biden in Geneva. He still often travels around Russia, however, and is due to attend the Valdai Discussion Club forum in Sochi on Thursday.

Putin is just one of many foreign leaders to have rejected attending COP26 in person, with Chinese President Xi Jinping also declining his invitation. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet to make a public announcement.

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In recent times, Moscow has been more serious in its rhetoric about tackling climate change. In June, during Putin’s annual ‘Direct Line’ call-in show, the Russian leader suggested climate change was affecting Russia faster than many other countries in the world and called on the nation to prepare for severe social and economic consequences caused by global warming.

Speaking last year to the Valdai Club think tank, the president called for an end to “unrestrained and unlimited consumption,” noting that tensions regarding climate change had “reached a critical point.”

“It affects pipeline systems, residential districts built on permafrost, and so on,” Putin explained. “If as much as 25% of the near-surface layers of permafrost – which is about three or four meters – melts by 2100, we will feel the effect very strongly.”

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