G20 summit gets underway as leaders consider Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Photo: Reuters

Leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations, who meet in Bali from Tuesday, are considering a draft resolution condemning the war in Ukraine, stating the situation is exacerbating fragilities in the global economy, diplomats said.

According to a 16-page draft declaration, seen by Reuters, “there were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.”

“Recognising that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy,” the declaration read, as quoted by Reuters.

The document has yet to be adopted by the G20 leaders and could still be changed.

G20 ministers’ gatherings in the past have failed to produce joint declarations due to a disagreement between Russia and other members on language, including on how to describe the war in Ukraine.

The summit, being held on the Indonesian island of Bali, marks the first time the G20 leaders are meeting since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, which Russia has described as a “special military operation”.

The war and worries over global inflation, food and energy security have overshadowed the meeting.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the summit in a virtual address that now was the time to stop Russia’s war in his country “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. He also called for all Ukrainian prisoners to be released.

“Please choose your path for leadership – and together we will surely implement the peace formula,” he said.

The G20 that includes countries like 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.

The war triggered calls by some Western leaders for a boycott of the summit and for the withdrawal of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation.

Indonesia resisted, refusing to withdraw Putin’s invitation.

Russia has said Putin was too busy to attend the summit with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov taking his place. Lavrov dismissed a news agency report on Monday that he had been taken to hospital in Bali with a heart condition and was present at the meeting.

However, it was not clear if he remained in the room while Zelenskiy made his address.