Russia-Ukraine conflict spills into UN environmental summit

Ukraine has asked the United Nations to cease talks on a proposal by Russia at a high-level environmental summit in Kenya, citing Russia’s invasion of its country, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Some delegates told Reuters the move threatened to cast a pall over the talks in Nairobi, where nations are discussing issues including a treaty to tackle plastic waste billed as the most important environmental pact since the Paris Agreement. read more

The proposal by Russia, which involved the regional make-up of United Nations environmental body UNEP, was one of several resolutions due to be presented for adoption at the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) next week.

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In the letter sent to UNEP on Thursday, Ukraine’s embassy in Kenya said it wasimpossible to hold discussions on the Russian proposal due to “the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation to Ukraine” and “blatant violations of norms of international law and the Charter of the United Nations”.

Ukraine said it was “not in a position” to support Russia’s proposal, meaning the resolution may fail to be adopted given the U.N. body has historically worked on a consensus basis.

UNEP, Ukraine’s embassy in Kenya and Russia’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this week sparked widespread condemnation and sanctions from the United States, Britain and the European Union.

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Representatives from Russia have participated in preparatory talks this week in Nairobi ahead of the UNEA environmental summit due to start on Monday.

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