Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend in person the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow.
However, it is said he will engage in the discussions by video.
Despite his absence, Russia is expected to send more than 300 delegates to the United Nations conference.
Organizers are concerned the lack of key leaders could curtail the lofty ambitions to curtail climate warming.
Mr Putin has not travelled much outside Russia since the Covid-19 pandemic.
No reason was given for his decision not to go to Scotland.
A spokesman said: “Climate change is one of our foreign policy’s most important priorities.”
Also likely to be absent from Cop26 will be Chinese leader Xi Jinping.