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US temporarily relocates embassy in Ukraine to western city of Lviv******
A woman passes by the closed US embassy in Kiev after operations were moved to Lviv on February 14, 2022.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Monday that the United States will temporarily relocate its embassy in Ukraine from the capital city of Kiev to the western city of Lviv, citing escalating tensions on Ukraine's borders.
"We are in the process of temporarily relocating our Embassy operations in Ukraine from our Embassy in Kyiv to Lviv due to the dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces," Blinken said, using the Romanized spelling of the name of the capital city from the Ukrainian language.
"The Embassy will remain engaged with the Ukrainian government, coordinating diplomatic engagement in Ukraine," the secretary said, adding that his country also remains "engaged with the Russian government" and that the "path for diplomacy remains available."
The State Department on Saturday ordered the departure of most US direct hire employees from the embassy in Kiev, a decision it claimed was made "due to the continued threat of Russian military action" against neighboring Ukraine.
Passport, visa and other routine consular services have been suspended since Sunday, according to the department, and the mission of the now-reduced US diplomatic team is to "handle emergencies" in Lviv.
US and Russian top diplomats and defense officials held separate telephone conversations Saturday to discuss the Ukraine crisis, followed later in the same day by a high-stakes phone call between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In addition to evacuating its diplomatic staff, the United States has also been urging its nationals currently in Ukraine to depart immediately, warning that those who choose to stay cannot count on the US military to come to their rescue in the event that war breaks out in Ukraine.
Washington has been releasing intelligence purporting an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine but refused to back it up with details. Moscow, for its part, has repeatedly denied any intention to invade, accusing the Biden administration of "hysteria."
COP26 concludes with new global deal on climate******
Photo taken on November 9, 2021 shows a view at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow, Scotland, the United Kingdom.。
The United Nations climate change conference concluded on Saturday after a one-day extension, with negotiators agreeing on a new global pact to tackle climate change.。
Nearly 200 participating countries adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact at the end of 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.。
Some encouraging progress was made. Agreement was finally reached on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which relates to carbon market mechanisms, paving the way for effective implementation of the Paris deal to cut emissions through market-based approaches.。
Negotiators also agreed to phase down coal, the dominant source of carbon dioxide emissions in the process of electricity generation. It is the first explicit mention of fossil fuels in a COP agreement.。
During COP26, more than 100 countries have promised to end deforestation by 2030.。
In the final days of the conference, China and the United States issued a joint declaration on enhancing actions on climate change in the 2020s, which are widely welcomed and believed to galvanize global collective actions.。
The two countries agreed to establish a working group on enhancing climate action this decade to promote cooperation on climate change between the two countries as well as multilateral processes.。
As COP26 wrapped up, however, some stubborn issues, notably climate funding, remain uncertain.。
There were commitments to significantly increase financial support through the Adaptation Fund as developed countries were urged to double their support to developing countries by 2025.。
However, it remains to be seen whether developed countries, whose development is responsible for most of today's climate change impacts, will heed the set timeframe.。
In 2009, wealthy countries pledged US$100 billion a year to help lower-income nations by 2020. However, they still have not made good on the pledge and recent reports indicate that this goal could slip to 2023.。
COP26, which kicked off on October 31, is the first climate change conference after the five-year review cycle under the Paris Agreement inked in 2015. The Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh will host COP27 in 2022.。