Putin tells Kerry climate change offers chance for cooperation

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers journalists' questions about his article titled "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians" in Saint Petersburg on July 13, 2021. (ALEXEY NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin told US climate change envoy John Kerry that the two former Cold War rivals have a chance to cooperate in combating greenhouse gas emissions amid efforts to improve ties following a summit last month.

Putin underlined in a phone call Wednesday with Kerry, who’s in Moscow meeting officials, that climate change “is one of the areas in which Russia and the US have common interests and a similar approach,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin underlined in a phone call Wednesday with Kerry that climate change “is one of the areas in which Russia and the US have common interests and a similar approach"

Kerry, who served as secretary of state under President Barack Obama, met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday. President Joe Biden’s special envoy told Lavrov the US has some proposals for Russia on ways to work together ahead of the United Nations climate change conference that starts Oct 31 in Glasgow. He noted that the US is the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter and Russia the fourth-biggest.

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“Obviously, we have some differences in the relationship between our countries but we were very pleased” that Putin took part in a virtual summit in April hosted by Biden, Kerry said. “Clearly we’re looking for rational and predictable components of that relationship.”

In his meetings with Russian officials, Kerry has repeatedly emphasized the US’s desire to raise ambitions in dealing with the challenge of climate change.

Russia and the US last week started talks on cyber-security that were agreed upon by the two presidents at their June 16 summit in Geneva. They are due to begin a new round of arms-control negotiations this month, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday, the state-run Tass news service reported. Ryabkov said a day earlier that Russia and the US can find agreement on specific issues “on a rational basis.”

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