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‘Nothing to be proud of’: Ukraine hits out at G20 declaration

Kyiv has hit out at a G20 leaders’ summit statement calling for “durable peace in Ukraine”, but failing to condemn Russia over the war.

Leaders of 20 nations reached a consensus declaration at the summit in Delhi on Saturday, calling on all states to refrain from the use of force to seize territory.

The consensus came as a surprise as the group is divided over the war in Ukraine, with Western nations earlier pushing for strong condemnation of Russia in the declaration, while other countries demanded a focus on broader economic issues.

Narendra Modi is hosting the summit

Announced by Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, the declaration said: “We call on all states to uphold the principles of international law including territorial integrity and sovereignty, international humanitarian law, and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability.


“We… welcome all relevant and constructive initiatives that support a comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine.”

The declaration added: “The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.”

Ukraine was quick to criticise the wording of the statement, calling it “nothing to be proud of” and flagging that it failed to mention Russia.

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Oleg Nikolenko, spokesman for the foreign ministry, wrote on Facebook: “It is clear that the participation of the Ukrainian side [in the G20 meeting] would have allowed the participants to better understand the situation.”

Rishi Sunak said the communique used “very strong language” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war’s impact on food prices and the need for a revival of the Black Sea grain deal.

Moscow pulled out of the agreement in July over what it called a failure to meet its demands to implement a parallel agreement easing rules for its own food and fertiliser exports.

Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden at G20. Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street
Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden on the sidelines of the summit

G20 host nation India has so far refused to condemn Russia over the Ukraine invasion.

Ahead of the summit, Downing Street said Mr Sunak would use his meeting with Mr Modi to push India to take a stronger stance towards Russia.

After the meeting with Mr Modi on Saturday, Mr Sunak would not confirm whether he broached the subject.

Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, said the declaration demonstrated a clear position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by saying that the territorial integrity of countries cannot be called into question with violence.

Speaking from the venue, Mr Scholz said: “It is a statement which supports the territorial and sovereign integrity of Ukraine.”

Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine – which Moscow has termed a “special operation” to “demilitarise” the country – has left tens of thousands of dead and caused global economic turmoil.

The weekend-long summit – which is attended by heads of government and state from across the world, including Joe Biden – is expected to be dominated by the West and its allies, with the Ukraine war looming large.

Leaders not in attendance include Chinese President Xi Jinping, who sent his premier Li Qiang instead, and Vladimir Putin, who sent foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in his place.


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