Russia’s Chief Climate Negotiator Oleg Shamanov is a cool, calm diplomat remembered for blocking the Bonn talks in 2013 in opposition to Qatar’s chairing of COP 18 in Doha in 2012.
This came in response to the Doha meeting at the end of 2012 where Russia publicly expressed frustration after Qatari Vice Prime Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al–Attiyah brought down the gavel ending the meeting without allowing other countries to express their views on the final document. Six months later, Russia struck back, and thousands of negotiators had to leave the meeting at UNFCCC’s headquarters in Bonn without any result. Backed by Ukraine, Belarus and other former Soviet bloc countries, Russia blocked progress with a request to review decision-making procedures, demanding transparency and respect for the UN’s principle of sovereign equality.
It is unclear at the moment what position Russia will adopt in December, given a number of diplomatic uncertainties. For example, Russia has tended in past climate talks to ally itself with the Umbrella Group, which includes Australia, Canada and the US, rather than the BRICS countries. However, bilateral ties with China have been developing, and a joint “development and climate change” working group has been set up.