G20 summit wants to condemn Russia: “Immeasurable human suffering”

The draft of the G20 conclusion paper severely condemns Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Whether Russia supports the text in this way is an open question.

Chancellor Scholz, Turkish President Erdogan and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud at the G20 summit

Chancellor Scholz, Turkish President Erdoğan and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud at the G20 summit Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

NUSA DUA/BERLIN afp/rtr/dpa | At the G20 Summit in Indonesia a clear position against the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine is emerging. Most G20 members “strongly condemned” the war in Ukraine, according to a draft of the joint final declaration, which several news agencies were able to see on Tuesday.

The text also highlights the negative effects of the war on the world economy. The war is causing “immeasurable human suffering and exacerbating existing vulnerabilities in the global economy,” according to the draft, which has yet to be approved by heads of state and government. The document is due to be released at the conclusion of Wednesday’s meeting.

The Group of Large Economic Nations (G20) is also committed to continuing the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain. The draft of the final declaration expressly welcomes the agreement concluded with Russia through the mediation of Turkey and the UN.

At the same time, the draft states that there were “differing views” and that the G20 summit was not a forum “to resolve security issues.” Russia has so far refused to describe the invasion of Ukraine as a war and speaks of a “military special operation”.

The draft summit declaration describes the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons as “impermissible”. The document also contains a requirement to extend the agreement on grain exports from Ukraine. The agreement expires on Saturday.

According to EU diplomats, it is still uncertain whether this text can be adopted in this form at the G20 summit on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the resistance of G20 member Russia.

Call to save the world

The President of G20 host country Indonesia, Joko Widodo, called for unity in his opening speech on Tuesday. “We have no choice, we must work together to save the world,” he said. The group must not allow “the world to descend into another cold war.” If the war doesn’t end, it will be difficult for the world to move forward, he said, without directly naming the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He urged countries to focus on measures to support global economic recovery despite deep political divisions caused by the war in Ukraine. “The G20 must be the catalyst for a full-scale economic recovery.”

The forum of the 19 leading economic nations and the European Union meets on Tuesday and Wednesday on the Indonesian island of Bali. It was established to promote cooperation and coordinate collaboration on global issues such as financial stability, climate change and sustainable economic growth. The G20 includes both industrialized and emerging countries. Together they are responsible for 80 percent of global economic activity and make up around two-thirds of the world’s population.

The member countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Great Britain and the USA. The political leadership of all these countries wanted to be represented in Bali, except for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sent his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov instead.

Zelenski confirms conditions for the end of the war

Among the non-members invited to attend is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who tuned in online on Tuesday. In his video speech, he reaffirmed his conditions for a possible end to Russia’s war of aggression against his country. This includes the complete withdrawal of Russian troops and the complete restoration of Ukraine’s control over its territory, Zelensky said.

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