COP28: Putin has landed in Abu Dhabi before the scheduled meeting with the President of the UAE.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has embarked on a rare foreign trip, commencing with his arrival in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with plans to subsequently visit Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, there was speculation about Putin’s attendance at the BRICS nations summit in South Africa, but the country’s presidency confirmed his absence. The potential visit of the Russian leader became a sensitive diplomatic issue for South Africa, given an International Criminal Court arrest warrant against Putin, which, as an ICC member, South Africa would be expected to execute if he were to visit.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, announced that, by mutual agreement, President Putin would not attend the summit. Instead, the Russian Federation would be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. This decision came after consultations held by Ramaphosa over several months, with the most recent occurring “last night,” according to Magwenya.

South Africa currently chairs the BRICS group, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and itself, aiming to counter Western economic dominance. Despite formal invitations, there was considerable domestic and international pressure on Pretoria not to host Putin.

President Ramaphosa expressed confidence in the summit’s success and urged the nation to extend necessary hospitality to the attending delegates.

At COP28, U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry introduced an international engagement plan to boost nuclear fusion. He highlighted the potential of fusion technology in combating climate change, involving 35 nations focusing on research, development, supply chain, regulation, and safety.

Fusion, mimicking the process powering the sun, could yield vast, clean energy without long-lasting radioactive waste. However, hurdles like achieving energy surplus and overcoming regulatory complexities remain.

Britain and the United States have signed a fusion cooperation agreement, with other nations like Australia, China, Germany, and Japan also pursuing fusion technologies.

The COP28 U.N. climate summit faces an unprecedented deadlock concerning the host for next year’s event. Typically, the next COP presidency is named during the summit, but this year, discussions about COP29 were notably absent.

Per U.N. regulations, Eastern Europe should host COP29, yet unanimity among countries in the region is hampered by the conflict in Ukraine. Russia, opposing an EU member state hosting, blocks Bulgaria’s bid. Additionally, Armenia and Azerbaijan, as long-standing adversaries, cannot support each other, making their hosting impossible.

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