News ID: 325390
Published: 0409 GMT November 15, 2022

Division at G20 over bid to condemn Ukraine war

Division at G20 over bid to condemn Ukraine war

Indonesian President Joko Widodo speaks during the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, on November 15, 2022.

REUTERS – Disagreement emerged at a Group of 20 summit on Tuesday as the United States and its allies backed a resolution condemning Russia's military operation in Ukraine, which Russia's foreign minister dismissed as unwarranted politicisation.

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

The war has overshadowed the meeting despite calls from host Indonesia for unity and a focus on action to resolve global economic problems like inflation, and food and energy security.

"Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy," a 16-page draft declaration said, according to a copy seen by Reuters.

"There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions," said the draft, which diplomats said had yet to be adopted by the leaders.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is heading his country's delegation in the absence of President Vladimir Putin, denounced the attempt to condemn Russia as politicisation by Western countries that had tried unsuccessfully to include it in the declaration.

Lavrov said Russia had put forward an alternative view and the draft would be completed on Wednesday.

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

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the summit in a virtual address that now was the time to stop war in his country under a plan he has proposed "justly and on the basis of the U.N. Charter and international law".

He called for restoring "radiation safety" with regard to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, introducing price restrictions on Russian energy resources, and expanding a grain export initiative.

"Please choose your path for leadership - and together we will surely implement the peace formula," he said.

Lavrov said he had listened to Zelensky's address, adding that the Ukrainian leader was dragging out the conflict and not listening to Western advice.

The summit opened with a plea by Indonesian President Joko Widodo for unity and concrete action to mend the global economy despite deep rifts over the war.

"We have no other option, collaboration is needed to save the world," he said. "G20 must be the catalyst for inclusive economic recovery. We should not divide the world into parts. We must not allow the world to fall 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 the world's gross domestic product, 75% of international trade and 60% of its population.

On the eve of the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held bilateral talks meeting in which they pledged more frequent communication despite many differences.

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






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