UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is currently in Bali attending the G20 summit, said that Russian President Vladamir Putin should have come to the summit to face the world leaders as Russia leaving Ukraine would "make the single largest impact" on international relations.
The British Prime Minister condemned the Ukraine invasion and the targeting of civilians in his address at the opening session of the summit which was also attended by the Russian foreign minister. “One man has the power to change all of this,” Sunak told the summit, which was also addressed by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“It is notable that Putin didn’t feel able to join us here. Maybe if he had, we could get on with sorting things out. Because the single biggest difference that anyone could make is for Russia to get out of Ukraine and end this barbaric war,” the British PM added.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his virtual address at the summit said that the time has come to end the war in Ukraine but also added that this was only possible if Russia affirmed the full territorial integrity of Ukraine.
“I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be ended. It will save thousands of lives,” he said while addressing the world leaders in Bali.
Zelensky further said, “There are and cannot be any excuses for nuclear blackmail” while speaking to China’s Xi Jinping and US president Joe Biden, but not to the Russian leader. Zelensky accused Russia of trying to build a radioactive bomb at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that could explode at any moment.
Meanwhile, taking a dig at the countries like China and India that had chosen to remain neutral in the dispute, Sunak remarked that all countries were at greater risk because of the precedent that had been formed.
“Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has profound implications for us all, because it has undermined the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
“We all depend on these principles. They are the foundations of the international order. They must be upheld. It is very simple – countries should not invade their neighbours, they should not attack civilian infrastructure and civilian populations and they should not threaten nuclear escalation. Surely these are things on which we can all agree,” he further added.
Speaking on the grain crisis due to the war as Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain producers, the British PM said, “The weaponisation of energy and food is totally unacceptable."
“Two-thirds of Ukraine’s grain goes to developing countries, yet Russia has destroyed grain stores and blocked shipments. It is harming the most vulnerable people around the world. And this has nothing to do with sanctions. All of us should support the secretary general’s efforts to get the Black Sea grain initiative back on track,” he added.
Urging its expansion to other ports, Ukrainian President Zelensky has demanded an expansion and indefinite continuation of the grain agreement, mediated by the UN and Turkey which will expire on Saturday. “I believe our export grain initiative deserves an indefinite extension, no matter when the war ends,” he said.