Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish leaders refuse to pose for COP28 photo with Belarus leader

  • 2023-12-01
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The Lithuanian, Latvian and Polish presidents on Friday boycotted the so-called "family photo" at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, as Belarus' authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko posed for it.

"It would be hypocritical to stand shoulder to shoulder with the leader of a country that became a staging ground for Russia's aggression against Ukraine and, as if nothing happened, discuss the future of the world and climate change," Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said in a comment sent to BNS by his office.

"The Belarusian regime is contributing to the destruction of the world's future and, along with Russia, is responsible for what is happening in Ukraine, from the loss of human lives to the catastrophic impact on the environment," Nauseda said.

"This is called a family photo. Lukashenko does not belong to the family we want to be a part of," he added.

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics and Polish President Andrzej Duda also refused to pose for the COP28 "family photo" in Dubai.

Later on Friday, Nauseda is to deliver a national address to the plenary session of the COP28.

"In his speech, he will call on world leaders to contribute to halting climate change through active actions and commitments, and will underline Lithuania's strong commitment in this area, as well as our country's ambitious goals in the areas of green economy, energy and climate neutrality," his office said in a press release on Thursday

On the sidelines of COP28, the Lithuanian president is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with other heads of state.