Climate and Ukraine take center stage at the U.N.
The U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, convened a special summit yesterday in New York designed to shine a spotlight on the most ambitious global leaders on climate policy. The leaders of the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest polluters, did not get a turn at the microphone.
Of the world’s four biggest emitters, only the E.U. spoke at the summit. But despite its emphasis on ambition, the summit yielded little in the way of new announcements of climate action. In London, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a delay on a ban on the sale of new gas and diesel cars, weakening Britain’s climate targets.
Also at the U.N., President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine presented his 10-point plan to end the war with Russia at a Security Council meeting and called for Russia to be stripped of its veto power.
“It is impossible to stop the war because all actions are vetoed by the aggressor,” he said.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, was not present for Zelensky’s speech. When Lavrov spoke later, he justified his country’s invasion, reiterating claims that the West had staged a “coup” in Ukraine to install a pro-Western president.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive gains
As fall approaches, and with it poor weather, Ukraine’s gains around the village of Robotyne, which its forces recaptured over the summer, could dictate the next moves in its southern campaign.
The first big strategic target, the rail and transport hub of Tokmak, is still another 15 miles away. Thirty miles south of Tokmak is the coastal city of Melitopol, a key prize in the battle for the south. This map illustrates the gains so far and the scope of the ground Ukraine still has to cover in its counteroffensive.
Azerbaijan reclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan said yesterday that it had restored full control over Nagorno-Karabakh after just two days of fighting. The enclave, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, has been under the control of Armenian separatists for more than three decades.
The development could create a wave of new refugees. The fate of the tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians still living in Nagorno-Karabakh is likely to emerge as an explosive and painful question.
The separatists’ surrender could also hasten the decline of Russian influence in the Caucasus, where Moscow has played a role as an arbiter between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
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