Ukraine war: Now is the time to pressure Russia for peace, Zelensky told the G20

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged world leaders to support a plan to end the war in his country, saying it was time to press for peace after Russia’s defeat in the southern city of Kherson.

He spoke via video link to G20 leaders who gathered for a summit on the Indonesian island of Bali overshadowed by the war in Ukraine and concerns about global inflation and food and energy security.

Zelensky said that Ukraine will not allow the Russian forces to regroup after their withdrawal from Kherson, adding that there will be more fighting until Ukraine regains control of all its occupied territories.

“I am now convinced that the time has come, and Russia’s devastating war must and can be stopped,” Reuters quoted a copy of his speech seen by Reuters as saying.

He said Kyiv would not give up Ukraine’s sovereignty, territory or independence, and also called for the release of all Ukrainian prisoners.

Ukrainian forces have made progress in recent weeks against Russian forces in the east and south, and last week recaptured Kherson, the only regional capital Russia has captured since the February invasion.

on Monday Zelensky visited Khersonwhich became the biggest prize his forces had ever recaptured, and he vowed to push forward until Ukraine regained control of all of its occupied territories.

Zelensky called on G20 leaders at their summit, including US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, to adopt a 10-point peace formula and end the war “justly and on the basis of the UN Charter and international law.”

It was not immediately known if Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who headed the Russian delegation to the summit, remained in the hall while the Ukrainian leader spoke.

“If Russia opposes our peace formula, you will see that it only wants war,” Zelensky said.

The Ukrainian leader also called for the restoration of “radiation safety” around the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, where the fighting is taking place.

Leaders are looking to China to rein in Russia

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the G20 that Putin’s government would listen to the global chorus of opposition to its actions. “Russia’s actions put us all at risk,” he said at the Bali summit.

He also confirmed a long-planned order for warships for Ukraine from BAE Systems worth £4.2 billion (€4.79 billion).

French President Emmanuel Macron called on his Chinese counterpart to unite with France against the war in Ukraine. Speaking at the start of a bilateral G20 meeting, he stressed that the “stability” of the world is also in China’s “interest”.

“With President Xi Jinping, we call for respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The consequences of this conflict extend beyond European borders: through close coordination between France and China, we will overcome them.” Macron said on Twitter.

Kyiv welcomed Chinese comments criticizing threats to use nuclear weapons, after US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on Monday.

“Confrontation between major countries must be avoided,” said a statement of the meeting on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly indicated that Russia can use nuclear weapons to defend its territorial integrity, which the West has interpreted as an implicit threat to use them over territories Moscow claims it has annexed to Ukraine.

China has refrained from publicly criticizing Russia over the invasion, but Zelensky welcomed Beijing’s comments, saying in a speech late Monday: “Everyone understands who these words are directed at.”

US says G20 will condemn Russia for ‘havoc’

The United States expects the G20 to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on the global economy at the conclusion of the meeting in Bali, according to a senior US official.

Speaking anonymously, the US officials said President Biden would be “unapologetic” in his defense of Ukraine, and that “the G20 will make it clear that Russia’s war is wreaking havoc on people everywhere and the global economy as a whole.”

European Council President Charles Michel said there was agreement among officials on the text of the statement on Monday night, which he described as “positive”.

In a speech to his country late Monday, Zelensky referred to the G-20 as the G-19, apparently refusing to recognize Russia’s membership. Ukraine is not a member.

Leaders of the G20, which includes countries ranging from Brazil to India, Saudi Arabia and Germany and accounts for more than 80% of global GDP, opened their summit with a call for host Indonesia to unite and work to reform the global economy despite deep disagreements over Ukraine.

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