G20 summit opens in Bali: Ukraine tops agenda

G20 summit opens in Bali: Ukraine tops agenda

Leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations opened talks on Tuesday on the island of Bali, with a plea by host Indonesia for unity and concrete action to mend the global economy despite deep rifts over the war in Ukraine.

According to Reuters, with the war in Ukraine and a global spike in inflation overshadowing the summit, Indonesia’s president made a fresh appeal to the leaders of the world’s richest countries to unite at least on economic matters.

The Indonesian leader, Joko Widodo, called on the European Commission and the G7 members to lend “support and flexibility” so the summit can produce concrete results.

"We hope the G20 summit can deliver concrete partnerships that can help the world in its economic recovery,” he said in a statement.

According to the agency, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 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, and also rejecting what Indonesian sources say has been pressure from G7 nations to condemn Russia at the summit. However, Western countries seem to have refused to make concessions and soften their rhetoric towards the Russian Federation. “A joint G20 communique, which would need to be agreed upon by all parties, appears unlikely, with Indonesia instead pushing for a leaders' declaration,” Reuters reports, referring to own diplomatic sources.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is due to address the summit via video link on Tuesday.

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