The war in Ukraine invites itself to the G20, Russia is under pressure

Despite Vladimir Putin’s absence from the G20, the leaders attending Bali intend to put pressure on Russia to end the war.

Source AFP

The G20 is the most important gathering of world leaders since the start of the pandemic and comes nine months after the start of the war in Ukraine.
© MURAT KULA / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AFP

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LAt the G20 summit of major economies on Tuesday, November 15, views on Russia increased. Despite the differences of opinion between the countries regarding the invasion of Ukraine, everyone wants Vladimir Putin to make this war much more expensive. In the nine months of this deadly war, energy and food prices have skyrocketed and the nuclear threat has resurfaced.

Also, while the invasion of Ukraine is not on the official agenda of the G20 – the most important gathering of world leaders since the start of the pandemic, which opened without Vladimir Putin on the Indonesian island of Bali – the topic is dominating the meeting, exposing divisions between Westerners who support Kiev and other countries led by China, which refuses to condemn Moscow. . However, the 20 members of this club, originally created to manage economic issues, agreed on a draft press release consulted by Agence France-Presse (AFP), although it does not seem possible given the fault lines in recent days, but also the necessary agreement from Moscow.

The document, if adopted by the leaders, notes the negative consequences of the “war in Ukraine” and removes the term “war”, which Moscow rejects for the time being, leading to a “special military operation”. It emphasizes that “the majority of members” “strongly condemn” the conflict, consider the use or threat of nuclear weapons “unacceptable” and demand the extension of the grain export agreement. A Turkish-brokered deal in July to supply Ukraine with about 10 million tonnes of grain expires on Friday, prompting Moscow to question its intentions and raise fears of a famine at the UN.

Zelensky addressed the G19

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who returned from the city of Kherson, which was recently captured by the army in the south of Ukraine, proposed to extend the term of this agreement “indefinitely”. He was one of the first to speak via video conference in the group he called “G19” excluding Russia. The head of Russian diplomacy, represented by Vladimir Putin, Sergey Lavrov was in the room. “I am convinced that now is the time to stop Russia’s destructive war,” the Ukrainian president said in a casual khaki shirt. It “must and can be stopped,” according to an English translation consulted by AFP. He detailed his plan to bring peace and “save thousands of lives”: distrust Russia, tolerate “no pretext for nuclear blackmail” in the face of Moscow’s “crazy threats” and carry out a general prisoner exchange. .

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the leader of the event, called for an “end to the war” in his opening speech: “We should not divide the world into several camps. We must not allow the world to go into a new cold war. »

All eyes are on superpower China, whose president Xi Jinping has drawn closer to Vladimir Putin on the eve of war, creating a common front against what he describes as the hegemonic will of the West. Beijing refused to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24. At the G20 podium, Xi Jinping called for “resolute opposition” to the “instrumentalization” of food and energy products, implicitly criticizing ally Russia. However, he did not spare Westerners, calling for the lifting of sanctions such as those against Russia or asking them to do more to limit the effects of rate hikes in recent weeks amid rising prices.

During a meeting with the Chinese leader on Tuesday morning, French President Emmanuel Macron asked him to intervene to “persuade him to return to the negotiating table” with the Kremlin mastermind, the Elysee reported. During his first face-to-face meeting with Xi Jinping since his election, US President Joe Biden on Monday got his Chinese counterpart to agree to reject any use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. . Faced with the Russian threat, many countries want to strengthen their military capabilities, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Bali to announce an order for five frigates, citing the Russian “threat”.

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