December 7, 2022

G-20 condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for an end to it | Q control policy

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — Leaders of most of the world’s economic powers are set to endorse a statement strongly denouncing the Russian invasion that has devastated Ukraine and upended the global economy. Even China, which has mostly refused to censor Russia so far, and India, which buys arms from Russia, are speaking with encouraging words.

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged their fellow leaders to vigorously condemn Russia’s nuclear threats and food embargoes.

Further talks and a possible vote will take place on Wednesday at the summit, which proved to be exceptionally eventful, even including a COVID-19 scare when Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen tested positive and returned home. No other leaders have tested positive.

A draft statement by the leaders of the Group of 20 echoes the UN’s condemnation of Russia’s war on Ukraine, while acknowledging the differences in views among members.

The careful wording of the statement reflects the tensions prevailing at the rally, which includes Russian and Chinese leaders, and the challenge facing the United States and its allies to isolate the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some nations want at all costs to avoid getting entangled in antagonisms between the greatest powers.

Yet, if adopted in its current form, the declaration would be a strong rebuke of the war that has killed thousands, heightened global security tensions and disrupted the global economy. It would be a particularly important step since China and India refrained from condemning Russia’s aggression in the March UN resolution.

The draft statement seen by the Associated Press on Tuesday “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression of the Russian Federation” and “demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from Ukrainian territory”. The G-20 statement notes that there are different views on the situation and on sanctions against Russia, saying the G-20 is not the forum to resolve security issues.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has denounced the latest Russian strikes in Ukraine.

“We are mindful that as world leaders gather at the G-20 in Bali to discuss issues of significant importance to the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, Russia is once again threatening those lives and destroying Ukraine’s critical infrastructure,” he added. he said in a statement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who led the Russian delegation to Indonesia in place of Putin, denounced the Biden administration’s pressure to condemn Moscow.

“All the problems are on the Ukrainian side which categorically refuses to hold talks and offers manifestly unrealistic and inadequate conditions to this situation,” Lavrov said.

Another big issue for the global economy over the past two years has been the COVID-19 pandemic. Although no cases were reported at the summit other than the Cambodian prime minister, many leaders had attended meetings with him days earlier at a separate summit in Cambodia of the Association of Nations. South East Asia.

Biden skipped a gala dinner on Tuesday hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, to attend to unspecified matters. Biden addressed his regrets to Widodo and said he would attend a planned tree planting on Wednesday with other G-20 leaders, according to a White House official. The official, who was not authorized to comment and spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that it had been a “full day” for the president, but insisted that Biden’s absence was not not related to COVID-19.

Returning to the main G-20 business, Zelenskyy delivered a video address trying to persuade the group to further isolate Russia diplomatically and economically, despite financial worries that have tested the resolve of many countries.

Inflation and slowing economies are already weighing on countries that imposed sanctions on Russia for starting the war. Rising energy and food costs have hurt business activity around the world, as much of Europe prepares to weather winter without importing Russian natural gas.

Indonesian Widodo said ominously: “If the war does not end, it will be difficult for the world to move forward.”

Zelenskyy reiterated 10 conditions to end the conflict that began in February, including a full withdrawal of Russian troops and the full restoration of Ukrainian control of its territory. He spoke days after Ukraine recaptured the strategic city of Kherson from Russian forces, in his country’s latest counter-offensive which forced Moscow to withdraw some forces from occupied areas.

“Ukraine should not be offered to make compromises with its conscience, sovereignty, territory and independence,” he said. “Ukraine has always been a leader in peacekeeping efforts, and the world has witnessed that. And if Russia says it wants to end this war, let it prove it with actions. “

At the summit, Biden met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who played a pivotal role this summer in brokering a deal to open Ukrainian grain exports to ease global food shortages. Biden also met briefly with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose cooperation is needed to secure a US-sought price cap on Russian oil to limit the profits Moscow uses to invest in its defense base.

Modi, whose country will assume the G-20 presidency after Indonesia, reiterated his call for ‘the path of ceasefire and diplomacy’ in the war in Ukraine and spoke of the efforts made by the leaders during the Second World War to follow a “path of peace”. ”

Separately, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a lengthy meeting with Lavrov on Tuesday to discuss the Black Sea Grain Initiative, UN spokeswoman Florencia Soto Niño said. . The agreement, which allowed Ukraine’s main grain exporter to resume exports from ports that had been blocked due to the war, is up for renewal on Saturday.

The United States and its allies responded to Russia’s invasion with their own export controls and other sanctions, making it more difficult for the Russian military to access key technologies and resupply them. drones, artillery and other weapons.

Chinese officials have largely refrained from publicly criticizing Russia’s war, although Beijing has avoided direct support for the Russians, such as supplying arms. Biden said that when he met Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, they discussed the war and “reaffirmed our shared belief” that the use or even the threat of nuclear weapons was “totally unacceptable” – a reference to the thinly veiled threats from Moscow to use atomic weapons as its invasion of Ukraine failed.

Xi told G-20 leaders that the global economy should not be militarized.

“We must resolutely oppose the attempt to politicize food and energy issues or use them as tools and weapons,” he said in translated remarks.

After meeting Xi, French President Emmanuel Macron said he called for “respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine”.

In a tweet, Macron said France and China were determined to “end the escalation of the war in Ukraine and deal with its consequences”.

The summit is the first for two key new partners in Biden’s effort: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Sunak, who took office last month, vowed to continue his conservative predecessors’ unwavering support for Ukraine. He and Biden were expected to strategize at their Wednesday meeting on new ways to bolster Ukraine’s defenses for the long term.

Meloni has pledged to continue supplying arms and aid to Ukraine, but questions remain about her far-right coalition’s commitment to standing up to Russia. She and Biden met on the sidelines of the summit on Tuesday and discussed China, the climate crisis, the impact of the Russian invasion on the global energy market and their commitment to provide support for the Ukraine, according to a statement from the White House.

AP writers Niniek Karmini, Foster Klug and Adam Schreck in Nusa Dua, Indonesia and Josh Boak and Aamer Madhani in Washington contributed.