Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the Kremlin said Wednesday.
No reason was given for the decision not to attend, but a Kremlin spokesperson said climate change is an “important” priority for Russia.
COP26 takes place in Scotland’s largest city from 31 October to 12 November.
Russia’s decision is seen as a blow to efforts to get leaders to negotiate a new deal to stop global temperatures from rising.
“Unfortunately Putin will not fly to Glasgow,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that climate change is “one of the most important priorities of our foreign policy”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is also unlikely to attend, although Chinese officials have reportedly not ruled out a change of plans entirely.
In early October, the Australian prime minister drew a lot of criticism for suggesting he could skip the summit, but later announced he would actually attend.
COP26 is the largest climate change conference since the historic Paris talks in 2015. About 200 countries are being asked about their plans to reduce emissions by 2030.
Many observers will observe how Russia and other major fossil fuel producers are willing to reduce their dependence on them.
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