French President Macron used his bilateral meeting with Xi Jinping to try to convince China to take a tougher line with Moscow.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gave the clearest indication Tuesday that the G20 members are moving toward a resolution critical of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which would also denounce any threats about using nuclear weapons.
"This is a consensus that is gaining ground here," Scholz told journalists in Bali.
Russia is officially a no-show at the G20 in Bali with President Vladimir Putin’s absence, and thus a “consensus” would mean the other 19 top world powers, including most notably China.
While Chinese President Xi Jinping has not condemned the war, he has gradually distanced himself from the Russian president over the past several months, and has been actively pushing for negotiations at the G20 meeting in Bali.
A 16-page draft declaration about the situation in Ukraine, which was seen by Reuters, says: "Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is standing in for Putin at the G20, busy working to avoid that Moscow is completely shut out of negotiations. When Scholz was asked about an apparent conversation he had with Lavrov, he said: "He stood near me and said a couple of sentences, that was the conversation."
Along with China, India also appears to be distancing itself from Russia’s decisions in Ukraine, while holding out as a possible mediator. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has voiced particular concern about the economic effects of the war dragging out.
U.S. and other Western officials are pushing for the final communique to be as tough as possible on Russia, while having all the G20 countries sign on. For now, according to Reuters, the draft includes language noting “most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine” and stresses that “it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy”.
Indonesia, host of the summit, has been trying to limit the focus on the war, arguing the G20 is not a security forum. But as it is the first time G20 leaders have met since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, and the first occasion for U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet, much in Ukraine is riding on its outcome.
Macron Calls On Xi Jinping To Condemn War In Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, urging him to join forces condemning the war in Ukraine, emphasizing the fact that world stability was also in China's interest, according to French daily Le Monde.
It is appropriate "to join forces to respond both to major international issues - you mentioned the climate to name one and probably the most prominent - but also to international crises, such as the war launched by Russia in Ukraine, for which the G20 is an appropriate format," Macron said at the beginning of a bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Bali.
According to Chinese state media, Xi emphasized Beijing’s position on the war in Ukraine, telling Macron that Beijing has been “clear and consistent, advocating a ceasefire, a stop to war and peace talks.”
Other Western leaders are expected to lobby China over the next 24 hours to join a G20 declaration on the war in Ukraine.
Zelensky’s 10 Points At The “G19” Summit For Ukraine’s Peace Plan
\u201cZelensky presents 10-step peace plan and tells G20: \u201cIf Russia says that it supposedly wants to end this war, let it prove it with actions. Obviously it\u2019s impossible to trust Russia\u2019s words, and there will be no Minsk-3, which Russia would violate immediately after signing.\u201d\u201d— Christopher Miller (@Christopher Miller) 1668499314
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed an “all for all” prisoner swap with Russia during his virtual address to the G20 leaders in Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday.
“Thousands of our people — military and civilians — are in Russian captivity. They are subjected to brutal torture — this is mass abuse … we know by name 11,000 children who were forcibly deported to Russia,” he said.
These are the 10 points outlined by Zelensky during his speech included in Ukraine’s peace plan:
- Radiation and nuclear safety
- Food security
- Energy security
- Release of prisoners and deportees
- Implementation of the UN Charter
- Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities
- Ecocide and the protection of the environment
- Prevention of escalation
- Confirmation of the end of the war
During his intervention, Zelensky kept referring to the assembly as the "G19," in an apparent dig at Moscow: Although Russia is a G20 member, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not in Bali and sent Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov instead.
Russia Retreats Further After Kherson Withdrawal
Liberated city of Kherson
After abandoning Kherson, the Russian army has retreated further from the fortified lines on the left bank of the Dnieper River, fearing shelling by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Ukrainian units are reported to be in pursuit eastward, firing on enemy positions.
Still Ukrainian military official Natalia Gumenyuk warned that the city of Kherson still faces risks.
"Hypothetically, they can threaten Kherson because the distance allows the use of different weapons, but we also do not stand still. Currently, stabilization activities are taking place in the liberated territories of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. A total of 4,870 square kilometers have been liberated.
UN Says Evidence Of Tortured Prisoners On Both Sides
According UN’s human rights office, both Russia and Ukraine have tortured prisoners of war during the nine-month period of conflict.
The Ukraine-based UN monitoring team based its findings on interviews with more than 100 prisoners of war from both sides, many citing examples of the use of electric shock and forced nudity.
Russia has repeatedly denied torture practices and any mistreatment of POWs, despite widespread evidence and testimony from victims. Ukraine responded to the UN report saying it will investigate thoroughly and take any necessary action.
Ukraine Accuses Moscow Of Sending Africans Jailed In Russia To Fight In Ukraine
\u201cPutin is sending African citizens imprisoned in Russia to the war in Ukraine. A former Zambian student was killed. We call on African Union and all African states to demand that Russia stop press ganging their nationals. Africans shouldn\u2019t die for Putin\u2019s sick imperial ambitions.\u201d— Oleg Nikolenko (@Oleg Nikolenko) 1668499811
Ukrainian diplomatic spokesman, Oleg Nikolenko has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of sending African citizens imprisoned in Russia to the frontlines in Ukraine. The accusation comes after Zambia announced the death of one of its citizens, Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda, who died on September 22 in Ukraine, though he was supposed to be serving a prison sentence in Russia at the time.
Zambia has asked Russia for an explanation "on the circumstances under which a Zambian citizen, who is serving a prison sentence in Moscow, could be recruited to fight in Ukraine and lose his life."
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Russia said it was "examining" the "circumstances" of the 23-year-old student's death. The founder of the paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has been accused by Kyiv of sending thousands of prisoners to the frontlines in Ukraine.
Head Of FIFA Calls For World Cup Ceasefire In Ukraine
The head of FIFA, the world’s football governing body, called for a ceasefire for the duration of the 2022 World Cup, saying Tuesday that both Russia and Ukraine should use the tournament as a “positive trigger” to work towards a resolution.
The World Cup begins in Qatar on Sunday.
“My plea to all of you, to think on a temporary ceasefire for one month for the duration of the World Cup, or at least the implementation of some humanitarian corridors or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as a first step to peace,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, speaking to world leaders in attendance of the G20 summit Tuesday.
Banksy Confirms 7 Murals In Ukraine Are His
Banksy, the anonymous street artist, has confirmed that he had completed seven art works in Ukraine.
Banksy confirmed the news to The Art Newspaper after a series of murals suspected to be his work appeared in the liberated city of Borodianka, located 35 miles northwest of Kyiv. The first artwork identified shows a female gymnast balancing on a pile of rubble on the side of a building damaged by Russian strikes.