Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. climate envoy John Kerry discussed climate change and the implementation of the Paris climate agreement in a call on February 13.
They agreed to cooperate further within the Arctic Council, including developing contacts, “given the significance of climate issues on the Arctic agenda,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, according to Interfax. Russia holds the two-year rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council starting this year.
They also agreed to establish contacts ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference scheduled to take place in November in Glasgow, Scotland, to try to finalize rules for implementing the 2015 landmark Paris climate pact, the ministry said.
Lavrov welcomed the new U.S. administration’s intention to rejoin the Paris agreement, the global treaty committing nearly 200 countries to halt rising temperatures quickly enough to avoid disastrous climate change.
U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement, calling it a “disaster” for America. Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden, has already taken measures to rejoin the Paris accord.
The phone conversation came as tensions between Moscow and the West have intensified.
Russia said on February 12 that it was prepared to sever ties with the European Union if the bloc follows through with threats to implement tough new economic sanctions against Moscow over the detention and jailing of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.