Ukraine crisis extends to G20 summit as Russia meets rivals in Indonesia

G20 foreign ministers have attended a joint summit that has put some of the staunchest critics of Russia’s offensive on Ukraine in the same room as Moscow’s top diplomat, the first such meeting since the attacks started in February.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived on Friday for talks with their counterparts from the world’s top economies for day-long meetings expected to produce tense exchanges between Moscow and Western nations.

They are not expected to meet directly.

Friday’s buildup to the gathering was dominated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its impact on the global economy, with top officials from Europe, the United States and Australia stressing there will be no “business as usual” at the forum, without saying what that might entail.

Shouts of “When will you stop the war” and “Why don’t you stop the war” were heard as Russian FM Lavrov shook hands with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi at the start of the meeting.

Marsudi at the opening of the meeting said, “It is our responsibility to end the war sooner than later and settle our differences at the negotiating table, not the battlefield.”

“This is the first time, since February 24, all major players are sitting in the same room,” she said earlier on Thursday, referring to when the start of Russia’s attacks.

A senior US State Department official on Thursday said it was important to prevent “disruptions or interruptions” to the G20 agenda while ensuring nothing took place that could legitimise Russia’s “brutalising” of Ukraine.

Disrupting global economy

Russia’s aggression, which it calls a “special military operation”, has caused major disruption to the global economy, with a blockade on Ukrainian grain and sanctions on Russian oil and gas driving a food crisis and a global spike in inflation.

Friday’s agenda includes a closed meeting with top diplomats of G20 countries including China, India, the United States, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Japan, and South Africa, as well as bilateral talks on the sidelines.

Ukraine’s foreign minister is expected to address the meeting virtually.

Russian FM Lavrov met Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Bali on Thursday, during which he praised Beijing but lashed out at an “openly aggressive” West.

For the first time in three years, the Chinese and Australian foreign ministers will hold talks on the sidelines of the meeting on Friday, signalling a thaw in relations that has soured over claims of foreign interference and retaliatory trade sanctions.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Benzer Konular

Sosyal Medya da Biz


Güncel Yazılar