Indonesia urges G20 to help end Ukraine war as Russia’s Lavrov watches


  • Russian Foreign Minister attends G20 meeting in Bali
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister to speak in virtual meeting
  • Indonesia warns that food prices will hit low-income countries hardest
  • UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss cuts Bali trip short

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, July 8 (Reuters) – Indonesia on Friday urged the G20 to help end the war in Ukraine, as the group’s foreign ministers gathered for a summit that brought together in the even exhibit some of the most vocal critics of the Russian invasion. as Moscow’s first diplomat.

Preparations for the rally on the Indonesian island of Bali have been dominated by the war and its impact on the global economy, with senior officials from Western countries and Japan stressing that it will not be “business as usual” at the forum.

Cries of “When are you going to stop the war” and “Why don’t you stop the war” were heard as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shook hands with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi at the start of the meeting.

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Highlighting the tensions in the buildup, Retno said her G7 counterparts informed her they could not join Thursday’s welcome dinner where Lavrov was present.

“It is our responsibility to end the war as soon as possible and to settle our differences at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield,” she said at the opening of the talks on Friday.

Citing Indonesia’s religious diversity as an example of how divergent beliefs can coexist harmoniously, Retno urged the G20 to “find a way forward” to address the challenges that are spreading across the world. She said the repercussions of the war, including rising energy and food prices, would hit low-income countries the hardest.

A senior Indonesian foreign ministry official told Reuters no statement was expected from Friday’s meeting.

“With Russia’s presence and participation, I certainly doubt there is consensus on Ukraine, for example,” a senior US State Department official said ahead of the summit.

Russia’s invasion has cast a shadow over Indonesia’s chairmanship of the Group of 20 largest economies this year, with speculation of boycotts by some members and a walkout in April at a meeting of finance ministers in Washington.

Retno said Thursday night that it was important for the host to “create a comfortable atmosphere for everyone”, noting that it was the first time since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine that all the main players were sitting in the same room.

Lavrov sat between representatives of Saudi Arabia and Mexico during Friday’s meeting.

CHINA WARNS RISK OF ‘NEW COLD WAR’

A senior US State Department official said on Thursday that it was important to prevent “disruptions or interruptions” to the G20 agenda, while ensuring that nothing happened that could legitimize the “brutalization” of Ukraine by Russia. Read more

After discussing the Ukraine issue with India‘s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing opposes any act of escalating the confrontation. blocks and the creation of a “new cold war”.

Russia’s invasion, 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 causing a food crisis and a global spike in inflation.

Friday’s agenda includes a closed-door meeting with top diplomats from G20 countries, including China, India, the United States, Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Africa, as well as bilateral talks on the sidelines. Ukraine’s foreign minister is expected to address the meeting virtually.

Lavrov met his 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, signaling a thaw in relations that have soured over allegations of foreign interference and retaliatory trade sanctions. Read more

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, represented by Tim Barrow, second permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, was absent from Friday’s meeting. Truss had cut short his trip to Bali after the resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to media reports.

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Additional reporting by Ryan Woo in Beijing, Kirsty Needham in Sydney and Yuddy Cahya Budiman in Nusa Dua; Written by Kate Lamb; Editing by Martin Petty, Ed Davies and Raju Gopalakrishnan

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