G20 declaration condemns war in Ukraine after Russia’s compromise

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Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies on Wednesday barely adopted a declaration denouncing the ongoing war in Ukraine by diplomacy and compromise following sharp differences between Western democracies and Russia over the description of the military aggression.

The declaration issued after their summit in Indonesia’s Bali said, “Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine,” demanding Russia’s “complete and unconditional withdrawal” from its neighbor.

But it also said, “There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.”

Russia eventually agreed with the United States and European countries to issue the document on condition that the leaders clarify that members of the group have remained at odds over how to interpret the impact of the war on the international community, according to officials involved in the two-day meeting.

“I express my high appreciation to those who are attending, who have shown their flexibility so that the declaration could be agreed and adopted,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said.

The adoption came after the United States and other Group of Seven nations intensified their criticism of Russia after a missile landed in Poland, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Russian state-run media had earlier Wednesday said it was uncertain whether the G20 leaders would agree on a communique despite details having been already worked out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has opposed the further expansion of NATO, urging the organization to pull back troops and weapons from Eastern Europe.

A Russian-made missile crossed into Polish territory and killed two people Tuesday, Poland’s Foreign Ministry said, as Russia reportedly pounded Ukrainian energy facilities with its biggest barrage of missiles yet.

On Wednesday morning, leaders of the G7 nations and other countries held an emergency gathering on the Indonesian resort island. Following the meeting, U.S. President Joe Biden said it was “unlikely” that the missile was fired from Russia.

Meanwhile, Widodo, the host of this year’s G20 summit, had voiced unwillingness to discuss the missile strike in Poland.

“The G20 is an economic, financial and diplomatic forum, not a political forum,” the president said, adding, “Here, we talk about the economy.”

At the closing of the first G20 summit since Russia launched a major attack on Ukraine in February, Widodo, nevertheless, called for the end of the war, with the declaration warning that the use of nuclear weapons is “inadmissible” amid fears that Putin might use a tactical nuclear device for a limited strike.

Russia, whose economy has been hit hard by sanctions imposed by Western nations, sent Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Bali on behalf of Putin.

Despite a rift between Western democracies and what they call autocratic countries over Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, most G20 members agreed to lambaste Russia over the war.

But several others sought to refer to opposition to sanctions against Moscow, according to the officials.

At their summit, the G20 countries, some of which have been suffering from accelerating inflation, also made concessions on the reference to rising global energy and food prices, caused largely by the Ukraine crisis.

In the declaration, the G20 said it has “witnessed the war in Ukraine further adversely impact of the global economy,” vowing to use “all available tools to mitigate downside risks.”

Along with the G7; Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union, the G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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