Joe Biden arrived at the G20 summit on Tuesday morning on a mission to further isolate Russia over its war in Ukraine, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared ‘now is the time’ to end the war on his country.
‘I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped,’ Zelensky said, appearing remotely to a conference that Russian President Vladimir Putin skipped.
‘It will save thousands of lives,’ he said.
This article was published in. Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping were in the room, as was Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, AFP reported. His speech came after the Ukrainian leader made a dramatic return to Kherson following a Russian military retreat from the regional capital it seized after its February invasion.
Zelensky found good company among leaders who gathered in the luxurious Kempinski hotel, which features dramatic ocean views.
President Joe Biden is seeking to rally world leaders to stay united in opposing Russia’s war on Ukraine. Here he speaks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo urged leaders to ‘end the war.’
“If the war does not end, it will be difficult for the world to move forward,” Widodo said. “We should not divide the world into parts. We must not allow the world to fall into another cold war.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called Russia a ‘pariah state,’ telling reporters he planned to ‘unequivocally condemn’ Moscow the Russian invasion.
Asked how he would handle Lavrov, Sunak told reporters: ‘I’m going to take the opportunity to unequivocally condemn the Russian state and Putin for their abhorrent and illegal war..’
The presidents and prime ministers heard from Zelensky that they could save thousands of lives by pressing Russia to withdrawal.
Biden and his allies are trying to pin painfully high food and fuel prices on Vladimir Putin in an effort to build consensus among countries like India and China that have been reluctant to speak out against China.
Eyeing a joint G20 declaration that would condemn the eight-month-old invasion and threats to use nuclear weapons, US and European officials have painted the summit as evidence of Russia’s deepening isolation.
A statement posted on the Facebook page of Hun Sen said he was returning home and canceling meetings.
Biden was 30 minutes late leaving his hotel for the summit, and the White House later said he had tested negative.
As he welcomed his guests to the tropical island of Bali, summit host Widodo said: ‘Being responsible means creating not zero-sum situations, being responsible here also means that we must end the war.’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the conference remotely following a dramatic return to recaptured Kherson
President Joe Biden sat with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during a dance performance t the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gala dinner on Saturday evening
Hun Sen hosted Biden and other world leaders for the summit in Phnom Penh ahead of the G20
Left to right; Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Chinese’s Premier Li Keqiang and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo stand for group photo of the ASEAN Plus Three Summit
Earlier an American official said the G20 would condemn Russia’s war.
‘I won’t get ahead of the final negotiations but the G20 will make clear that Russia’s war is wreaking havoc for people everywhere and for the global economy as a whole,’ said the official, who spoke about the U.S. view on the summit on condition of anonymity.
‘They will be clear that most G 20 members condemn Russia’s war and the immense suffering of this cause both for Ukrainians and for families in the developing world that are facing food and fuel insecurity as a result.’
However, he was unable to say what form the condemnation would take, whether it would be a communiqué signed by 11 countries or 19, or whether it would be a statement issued by the president of Indonesia, who holds the group’s chair.
The summit is already one short with the departure of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Officials will hope none of his guests at the weekend summit of southeast Asian leaders and others are affected.
Guests included Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.
A day earlier, Biden cleared his throat and apologized to reporters at a news conference.
‘Excuse me, I have a little cold,’ he said.
It all marked an uncertain start to the summit, where leaders had already decided to skip the traditional ‘family photo’ so that the likes of Biden can avoid having to smile for the camera alongside Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister.
But American officials say the summit will include condemnation of Russia.
On Monday, Biden met with China’s Xi Jinping – their first meeting since Biden took office
The two displayed warm body language ahead of their meeting but clashed over Taiwan
The summit is the final leg of Biden’s around-the-world foreign policy blast.
He was in Egypt for three hours on Friday to attend the COP27 summit, before flying to Cambodia for less than 48 to attend the A.S.E.A.N. summit.
On Monday he met Xi for the first time as president. Both leaders appeared maskless with entourages who all wore face coverings.
They clashed over Taiwan, and discussed North Korea’s threat to the region among other issues.
Biden is on the final leg of an around-the-world foreign policy blitz with three summits
Biden is due back at the White House on Thursday night ahead of daughter Naomi’s wedding on Saturday.
U.S. officials have said Biden’s trip has demonstrated that countries large and small are willing to condemn Russian aggression.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to virtually address the G-20 summit.
It comes days after Ukraine’s foreign minister was invited to participate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Cambodia, where it became the latest signatory to the group’s treaty of amity and cooperation.