Leaders at the G20 summit urge an end to the Russia-Ukraine war

November 16, 2022 7:10 am

[Source: CTV News]

World leaders gathering in Indonesia said their nations faced challenges from conflict and economic headwinds.

The annual Group of 20 summit began on Tuesday under the shadow of the war in Ukraine and concerns about a possible global recession, as leaders of some of the world’s wealthiest nations and biggest emerging markets pushed for a coordinated response to the threats.

As leaders from the group of 19 countries and the European Union gathered on the Indonesian island of Bali, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S.-China rivalry and a resurgence of authoritarianism are testing alignments in the world order. The war has fueled food insecurity and high inflation, and in opening remarks, leaders urged an end to the fighting and for action to address the surging cost of grain, oil and other commodities.

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President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine addressed the gathering by video link and called again on Russia — whose leader, President Vladimir V. Putin, is not attending — to immediately withdraw its troops. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, is attending the summit in Mr. Putin’s place.

Repeating his demands for accountability for Russian violations of international law, Mr. Zelensky said that Ukraine would not end its resistance until its territory was reinstated. “Every day of delay means new deaths of Ukrainians, new threats to the world, and an insane increase in losses due to continuation of the Russian aggression — losses for everyone in the world,” he said.

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, did not directly mention the war in his remarks but referred to a tense geopolitical environment and disrupted supply chains for food and energy.

“All countries should replace division with unity,” he said, according to a transcript from the Chinese Foreign Ministry. China, which has an increasingly strong partnership with Russia, has not condemned Moscow’s invasion, but this month Mr. Xi cautioned against “the threat or use of nuclear weapons” in the conflict.

Sessions for the first day have concluded.

On the eve of the summit, Mr. Xi met with President Biden for nearly three hours to try to keep relations from deteriorating further between China and the United States, which are at odds over issues including Beijing’s stance on the war. The two leaders adopted a tone of mutual engagement that acknowledged that both of their countries faced challenges from global conflict and economic headwinds.

The host of the summit, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, urged fellow leaders on Tuesday to “set aside our differences” and work toward ending the war in Ukraine.

The summit is the first time that some top global leaders are meeting in person since the start of the pandemic. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia said that he was cutting short his visit to the summit after testing positive for the coronavirus.