G-20 should remain strong on Russia, call for an end to the crisis in Ukraine

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Indonesia’s NUSA DUA (AP) — President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pressed the group to maintain pressure on Moscow over its nine-month war, which has devastated Ukraine and roiled the global economy, and leaders of the world’s largest economies appeared ready to send a strong message Tuesday condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

While admitting differences of opinion among members, the draught statement being discussed by the leaders of the Group of 20 major economies Tuesday follows the United Nations’ condemnation of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The statement’s careful wording reflects the tense atmosphere at the meeting, which also features leaders from China and Russia, as well as the difficulty the United States and its allies will face in isolating the Russian government of Russian President Vladimir Putin at a time when some countries are attempting to stay out of conflicts between the major powers.

If adopted in its current form, it would be a strong rebuke of the war that has claimed thousands of lives, increased tensions in international security, and disrupted the global economy, especially in light of the fact that China and India abstained from denouncing Russia’s aggression in the March U.N. resolution.

The Associated Press obtained a statement on Tuesday that “deplores in the harshest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation” and “demands its unconditional and total departure from the territory of Ukraine.” The G-20 draught statement acknowledged that there were many perspectives on the circumstance and the sanctions imposed on Russia and stated that the G-20 was not the appropriate platform for resolving security matters.

As the conference was being affected by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, pressure was put on for a strong declaration against Russia.

After arriving in Bali, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia tested positive for COVID-19 and declared he was leaving for home. Although several of them in Bali had held talks with the prime minister just days ago during a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian countries, no other politicians are known to have tested positive as of yet.

Biden opted not to attend a nighttime event that Indonesian President Joko Widodo was hosting in order to handle unidentified business. According to a White House official, Biden wrote Widodo a letter expressing his condolences and promising to join other G-20 leaders for a Wednesday tree-planting ceremony. The individual, who spoke under the condition of anonymity because she was not permitted to speak publicly, acknowledged that the president had a “busy day,” but argued that Biden’s absence had nothing to do with COVID-19.

Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia who took Putin’s place as head of the mission to the summit, criticised the efforts of the Biden administration to criticise Moscow.

The Ukrainian side, which unequivocally rejects any attempts at dialogue and sets out demands that are manifestly unfeasible and insufficient in light of the circumstances, is to blame for all issues, according to Lavrov.

Zelenskyy joined Biden in urging the G-20 to further isolate Russia economically and diplomatically in a video message to the meeting, amid a deteriorating global financial picture that has put many countries’ determination to the test.
The economies of the nations that have penalised Russia for initiating the conflict are sluggish and inflation is rising. Business activity has become unstable due to rising energy and food prices as most of Europe prepares to weather the winter without importing Russian natural gas.

Widodo made clear to the group what was at stake. It will be challenging for the globe to advance if the conflict does not cease, he added.

Zelenskyy reaffirmed 10 requirements for putting an end to the february-starting war, among them the total departure of Russian soldiers and the complete restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty over its territory. He made his remarks a few days after his country’s latest move in a counteroffensive that has compelled Moscow to remove its soldiers from previously captured areas—the recapture of the vital city of Kherson from Russian forces.

He declared that “Ukraine should not be given the opportunity to reach concessions with its conscience, sovereignty, territory, and independence.” “The world has seen Ukraine play a leading role in attempts to maintain peace. And if Russia claims that it wants to resolve this conflict, let it back up its claims with deeds.

At the conference, Biden had a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was instrumental in brokering an agreement to allow shipments of Ukrainian grain to help with the world’s food shortages this summer. Additionally, Biden had a brief meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose cooperation is required to achieve the United States’ goal of capping the price of Russian oil in order to prevent Moscow from using the proceeds to expand its military infrastructure.

Modi reaffirmed his plea for “the route of truce and diplomacy” in the conflict in Ukraine and discussed efforts made by world leaders to follow a “path of peace” during World War II. India will take over the G-20 leadership from Indonesia.

Separately, according to UN Spokesperson Florencia Soto Nio, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres met with Lavrov for a protracted period of time on Tuesday to discuss the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The agreement is up for renewal on November 19. It allowed major grain exporter Ukraine to resume shipments from ports that had been closed due to the fighting.

Export restrictions and other sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine make it more difficult for the Russian military to get essential technology and restock with drones, artillery, and other weapons.

Chinese leaders have mostly refrained from publicly criticising Russia’s conflict, despite Beijing avoiding providing the Russians with direct support, such as guns. In reference to Moscow’s subtly nuked threats as its invasion of Ukraine has stalled, Biden said that during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, they discussed the war and “reaffirmed our shared belief” that using or even threatening to use nuclear weapons was “totally unacceptable.”

Xi warned the G-20 leaders against using the world economy as a weapon.

In remarks that were translated, he stated, “We must forcefully fight the attempt to politicise food and energy concerns or use them as instruments and weapons.”
French President Emmanuel Macron stated that they demanded “respect of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine” during their meeting with Xi.

Macron stated in a tweet that China and France were committed to dealing with the effects of the Ukrainian conflict’s escalation.

Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Giorgia Meloni, the prime minister of Italy, are two crucial new collaborators in Biden’s initiative.

Sunak, who became leadership last month, has vowed to uphold his conservative forefathers’ unwavering support for Ukraine. He and Biden planned to discuss long-term military bolstering strategies at their meeting on Wednesday.

Although Meloni has promised to keep giving Ukraine weapons and assistance, there are still concerns about her far-right coalition’s will to confront Russia. She and Biden spoke about China, the climate problem, the effect of Russia’s invasion on the world energy market, and their commitment to supporting Ukraine during their Tuesday meeting outside of the summit, according to a statement from the White House.

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