Trade Wars

Division at G20 to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

  • Most G20 members could strongly condemn the war in Ukraine
  • Zelenskiy urges G20 to help end war as part of plan
  • Indonesia calls for action on global economic issues
  • Xi Jinping will hold meetings with several other Chinese leaders

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, November 15 (Reuters) – Disagreement emerged at a Group of 20 (G20) summit on Tuesday as the United States and its allies backed a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine , which the Russian Foreign Minister dismissed as unwarranted politicization.

The summit on the Indonesian island of Bali is the first meeting of G20 leaders since Russia sent troops to Ukraine in February.

The war, which Russia described as a “special military operation”, overshadowed the meeting despite calls from host Indonesia for unity and focus on action to solve global economic problems such as the inflation and food and energy security.

“Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy,” reads a 16-page draft statement, according to a copy viewed by Reuters.

“There were other views and different assessments of the situation and the sanctions,” says the draft, which diplomats say has yet to be adopted by the leaders.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who leads his country’s delegation in the absence of President Vladimir Putin, has denounced the attempt to condemn Russia as politicization by Western countries which had tried unsuccessfully to include him in the statement.

Lavrov said Russia had presented an alternative view and the project would be completed on Wednesday.

A US official said earlier that the United States expected the G20 to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on the global economy.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said there were encouraging signs of a consensus that Russia’s war on Ukraine was not acceptable.

G20 ministers’ meetings in the past have failed to produce joint statements due to disagreement between Russia and other members over language, including how to describe the war in Ukraine.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the summit in a virtual address that now was the time to stop Russia’s war in his country under a plan he proposed “fairly and on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations and international law”.

He called for the restoration of “radiological safety” with regard to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the introduction of price restrictions on Russian energy resources and the expansion of a grain export initiative.

“Please choose your path for leadership – and together we will surely implement the formula for peace,” he said.

Lavrov, who on Monday denied a news agency report that he had been hospitalized in Bali with a heart condition, said he had listened to Zelenskiy’s speech, adding that the Ukrainian leader was dragging out the dispute and not did not listen to Western advice.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked calls from some Western leaders to boycott the summit and withdraw Putin’s invitation, but Indonesia refused to do so.

Russia said earlier Putin was too busy to attend the summit and Lavrov was taking his place.

‘SAVE THE WORLD’

The summit opened with a call from Indonesian President Joko Widodo for unity and concrete actions to repair the global economy despite the deep divisions caused by war.

“We have no other choice, collaboration is necessary to save the world,” he said. “The G20 must be the catalyst for an inclusive economic recovery. We must not divide the world into parts. We must not allow the world to descend into another cold war.”

The G20, which includes countries ranging from the United States, Russia and Brazil to India, Saudi Arabia and Germany, accounts for more than 80% of global gross domestic product, 75% of international trade and 60% of its population.

On the eve of the summit, US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held a bilateral talks meeting during which they pledged to communicate more frequently despite many differences.

The meeting was the first the two had had in person since Biden became president and it appeared to signal an improvement in relations after a downward spiral in recent months.

Xi and Putin have grown increasingly close in recent years and reaffirmed their partnership just days before Russia invaded Ukraine. Nonetheless, China has been careful not to provide any direct material support that could trigger Western sanctions against it.

On Tuesday, Xi told French President Emmanuel Macron during a bilateral meeting that China advocates a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace talks, Chinese state media reported.

Macron said it was crucial for France and China to cooperate more closely to overcome the consequences of the war in Ukraine, his office said, adding that the two leaders had agreed that there was an urgent need to defuse the Ukrainian conflict. and reaffirmed their position on preventing the use of nuclear weapons.

On Monday, Biden and Xi “stressed their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine” during their meeting, the White House said.

Xi told Biden that nuclear weapons could not be used and nuclear wars could not be fought, the Chinese foreign minister said in a statement.

The West has accused Russia of making irresponsible statements about the possible use of nuclear weapons since its invasion of Ukraine. Russia in turn accused the West of “provocative” nuclear rhetoric.

Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy, Stanley Widianto, Nandita Bose, Leika Kihara, David Lawder and Simon Lewis in Nusa Dua, Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Lidia Kelly in Melbourne and Eduardo Baptista in Beijing; Written by Ed Davies and Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Robert Birsel and Tom Hogue

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