G20 press conference
Yesterday at the G20, my fellow leaders and I directly confronted the Russian Foreign Minister with the illegality and brutality of his country’s war in Ukraine.
Barely twelve hours later, more than 80 Russian missiles rained down on western Ukraine, killing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure.
While other world leaders were working together to tackle the greatest challenges our people face, Putin was launching indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Ukraine.
In the wake of these attacks today we held an urgent meeting of G7 and NATO leaders to underscore our solidarity with Poland and Indonesia.
I also spoke to Polish President Duda this morning to offer my wholehearted support and assurance that the UK stands steadfastly behind him and his people at this worrying time.
We should all be clear – none of this would be happening if it weren’t for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This is the cruel and unrelenting reality of Putin’s war.
As long as it goes on it poses a threat to our security and that of our allies.
And as long as it goes on, it will continue to devastate the global economy.
Two-thirds of G20 members are currently experiencing inflation rates over 7% and the IMF predicts a third of the world’s economy will be in recession this year or next.
At a time when countries are tentatively emerging from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, households across the world have been hit by punishing price rises and are facing an uncertain future.
When the G20 was established, it was with the acknowledgement that economic shocks are inherently global.
Responding to them requires coordination and cooperation between the world’s largest economies.
We have come together over the years, despite our political differences, in recognition of the economic importance of this forum.
But this year in particular – as last night’s events laid bare – the challenges we face are utterly political.
The persistent threat to our security and global economic asphyxiation has been driven by the actions of the one man unwilling to be at this summit – Vladimir Putin.
There is not a single person in the world who hasn’t felt the impact of Putin’s war.
Global food markets have been severely disrupted by his attempts to choke off Ukrainian grain supply…
there has been an eightfold increase in global energy prices thanks to Russia turning off their gas taps…
and the economic aftershocks of Putin’s casual disregard for human life will ripple around the world for years to come.
But in Indonesia this week the rest of the G20 have refused to let Russia’s grandstanding and hollow excuse-making undermine this important opportunity to make life easier for our people.
Economic stability and confidence are at the heart of the government’s agenda.
That means being a constructive and reliable member to the international community, using our influence to keep global prices down and create the conditions that will help the UK – and other global economies – return to growth.
At this summit G20 partners have come together to strengthen our international economic foundations, making ambitious commitments to
help the most vulnerable,
reduce global reliance on Russian fossil fuels in favour of greener, more secure alternatives,
and drive a better future where no country has the power to devastate the global economy.
I’d like to thank the Indonesian President Jokowi for the role he has played in hosting these discussions and leading the G20 at this challenging time.
Tomorrow, the Chancellor will build on these international foundations when he makes the Autumn Statement, outlining his plan to get the country on a positive trajectory, put the public finances on the right footing and get debt falling.
By promoting free markets, forging strong international relationships, and prioritising our stability and security, we will build a global platform for the United Kingdom to thrive – giving the people of our country the certainty that they need.