Russia sees its role on the global stage diminished by Ukraine war

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Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt – From United Nations climate talks at this coastal resort on the Red Sea to a Group of 20 meeting on the beaches of Bali, Russian diplomats found themselves on the outside at key global gatherings this week – Far and away on Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine

Russia had big plans for the United Nations climate change conference in Egypt, known as COP27, with four round table discussions scheduled. No foreigners agreed to speak on the panel. The Russians were left to talk among themselves.

“I invited everyone but no one. [will come]”Sorry. Former NHL star Viacheslav Fetisov, a member of the Russian State Duma and chairman of the All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation;

Fetisov scrolled through his phone, pointing to pre-war photos showing meetings with US climate envoy John F. Kerry. In one shot, Carey holds up a hockey jersey on which Fetisov wrote in permanent marker: “John, get ready and play hockey at the North Pole and change the world for the better! Your Russian friend Slava Fetisov.”

“Right now, I don’t think so [Kerry] will shake hands with Silva,” said another member of the delegation, Sergei Rybakov, using Fetisov’s nickname.

The battle over the climate conference has become widespread. A few weeks before it opened, Russia launched a series of attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, adding to growing fears of a global energy crisis triggered by a Russian invasion. At the G-20, the annual gathering of world powers, Russia also found itself in an unusual position: a main topic of discussion rather than a leading player.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – who has remained friendly with Russia throughout the war, welcoming Russian tourists and hosting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier this year – used his COP27 speech to end the fighting. . “This is our conference call,” he said. “Let this destruction and carnage end.”

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Speaking to delegates via video call, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of waging war not only against the people of Ukraine, but against the country’s natural resources.

British Prime Minister Rishi Singh addressed the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh. Last week, said: “Putin’s ugly war in Ukraine, and rising energy prices around the world, are not a reason to slow down on climate change. They are a reason to act faster.”

In Bali, Sink promised to “call Putin’s government,” and Canadian leader Justin Trudeau said he had “no interest” in talking to Lavrov, who is attending the G-20 instead of Putin. have been. He said Trudeau’s goal at the summit was to make sure “the world comes together to reinforce that Putin made a terrible, terrible choice when he decided to attack a peaceful neighboring country.” “

Indonesian officials said that unlike previous G-20 summits, the meetings in Bali later this year are unlikely to feature “family photos”, as several government leaders have said that if Russian delegates are present. They will not attend.

A White House official noted that the leaders of the Group of 7 countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — did not participate in any group photos with Russian officials in about 15 meetings this year.

“Russia is waging war and killing innocent civilians,” said the White House official, who spoke freely on condition of anonymity. “I think it’s sensible not to have a family photo from any perspective, not just America.”

When asked if the Russian delegation was ignored at COP27, Fetisov scoffed. “What do you think?” he replied.

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Russia is one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, and Fetisov said it was short-sighted to ignore his country’s approach to global climate talks.

Russia Allows Methane Emissions to Threaten the Planet

“Without Russia, you cannot solve these problems,” Fetisov said of the climate crisis. “Conflict [in Ukraine] May end tomorrow. But you are missing another year to make the right decision for the future.

He added that we did not come to Egypt to discuss the situation in Ukraine. “We are here to share our worries … share our experience … share our knowledge.”

The experience has been fascinating. For Fetisov — once celebrated as a Stanley Cup champion in the United States — Washington has now approved a vote in favor of Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

He is banned from traveling to several countries, including the US, where his daughter lives. “If [COP27] I was going to go to another part of the world, I wouldn’t have been able to come,” he said.

The same goes for members of the Russian delegation to the G-20 in Indonesia.

For months before the summit, Indonesian officials feared Putin would attend, prompting other world leaders to boycott the event. Two days before the summit, and hours after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian city of Kherson, the Russian embassy in Indonesia announced that Putin would not attend and would be replaced by Lavrov.

Bali Governor Vian Koster greeted Lavrov with a performance by Balinese dancers when he arrived on the island on Sunday evening. But on Monday, as other G-20 leaders began a packed schedule of bilateral meetings and panel discussions, Lavrov was largely absent from the proceedings.

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Citing Indonesian officials, the Associated Press reported that he fell ill upon arrival – a claim quickly denied by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which documented his stay at a beachside hotel. A review video was shared. The Russian delegation’s muted presence is in stark contrast to the 2019 G-20 conference, which Putin last attended in person, and where he made a splash by meeting with the US, China, India and others. was

A spokesman for the Russian embassy in Indonesia did not respond to a question about whether Lavrov planned to meet with any officials on the sidelines of the summit. China has not announced any formal meeting with Russia, although Beijing joined Moscow on Tuesday in opposing the use of the word “war” in a joint statement to describe the attack on Ukraine.

At the G-20 talks, China objected to calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine a ‘war’

Activist groups say world leaders need to move beyond condemnation at the G-20. “If all the Western powers want to do in Bali, much less Russia, they will find that many non-Western allies will not go along,” said Richard Gowan, who advocates for the International Crisis Group at the United Nations. Monitor. Western countries need to work with the leaders of China and India to persuade Russia to reject the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Govan said.

On Tuesday evening, the Russian delegation drew a small crowd at a COP27 event, but was quickly stopped by activists: “You are war criminals!” one shouted. “You’re killing my people!” shouted another. UN security escorted them out of the room.

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