The subject was not on the agenda and yet it was inevitable. This Sunday, February 27, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict was invited for discussions at a key UN meeting on climate, ahead of the submission of an IPCC report. While the head of the Ukrainian delegation, Svitlana Krakovsa, informed her colleagues about the situation in her country in a fiery statement, her Russian counterpart sent her an unexpected apology, as reported. The HuffPost†
“Allow me to apologize on behalf of all Russians who have not been able to prevent this conflict”, Oleg Anissimov said in Russian during the closing plenary session of the negotiations, according to testimonies collected by AFP from three different sources who attended the meeting to which 195 countries were invited. The Russian delegate called this invasion unjustified: “Those who see what is happening cannot find any justification for this attack on Ukraine”he added, before he s . expressedwe “huge admiration” for the Ukrainian delegation, according to the same sources. AFP could not access his speech in Russian, specifies: The HuffPost†
With these words, the diplomat made a strong and courageous gesture. “He knows he is taking a risk for himself, it was a very sincere message”, AFP told a participant about the Russian representative. Oleg Anissimov clarified to the news agency that his comments should not be interpreted as: “an official statement from the Russian delegation” and that they expressed his personal opinion.
Common Roots of War and Climate Change
Just before this surprising intervention, Svitlana Krakovska, head of the Ukrainian delegation, had mentioned the alarming situation in her country. “We will not surrender in Ukraine and we hope the world will not surrender in building a sustainable climate future”she said according to several sources. “Man-made climate change and war in Ukraine have the same roots: fossil fuels and our dependence on themadded the one who continues to work from her country at war.
This exchange between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations marked the UN meeting, which preceded the release of a pivotal new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Svitlana Krakovska told her colleagues how sad she was that this new report, which took years of work from the international collective of scientists, would have to be “standing in the media in competition with a war”reports The HuffPost†