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Ukraine takes centre stage at G20, warring sides trade blame

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LIVE updates as at  1pm

11:13 GMT- Western-supplied arms and mercenaries are priority targets: Moscow

The secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, says that Western-supplied arms and foreign mercenaries were priority targets for Russia’s forces fighting in Ukraine, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

“Lethal weapons supplied to Ukraine, as well as foreign mercenaries fighting on the Ukrainian side, are priority targets for the Russian Armed Forces,” Patrushev said in Bryansk at a meeting on security issues in Central Russia.

Patrushev added that Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage groups had been seen in border regions.

11:05 GMT- Wagner group deny any link to executed fighter

The shadowy Wagner mercenary group has denied their involvement in the execution of one of its fighters in Ukraine after saying the man deserved a “dog’s death”.

The man, who identified himself as Yevgeny Nuzhin, was shown in footage receiving a fatal blow to the head with a sledgehammer.

On Sunday, Wagner’s head Yevgeny Prigozhin praised what he described as “magnificent work”, calling the murdered man a “dog”.

“A dog should have a dog’s death,” he said.

In a new statement on Tuesday, Prigozhin denied that his private fighting group had played any role in the execution and blamed US secret services without substantiating his accusations.

“It’s the practice of US intelligence services, which abduct people, including Russian citizens, across the world,” Prigozhin said, calling on Russian prosecutors to open an investigation.

“Wagner employees are distinguished by their exemplary discipline and strict adherence to international standards and globally accepted rules of social behaviour,” Prigozhin added.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said there are encouraging signs at the G20 meeting in Bali for a consensus that Russia’s war against Ukraine is unacceptable and that nuclear weapons must not be used.

“This is a consensus that is gaining ground here,” he told journalists in Bali.

Asked about a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Scholz said: “He stood near me and said a couple of sentences, that was the conversation.”

Scholz also said he would continue to talk to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to find solutions to end the war against Ukraine.

10:49 GMT- Russia will stop the West from using its frozen assests to pay reparations: Kremlin

The Kremlin says it will do “everything possible” to stop the West from seizing its frozen international reserves or “plundering” them to pay for reparations to Ukraine.

The West froze around half or more than $300bn of Russia’s international reserves after Moscow sent its armed forces into Ukraine in February.

“Russia will do everything possible” to resist Western attempts to “plunder” its reserves, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

He accused the West of “racketeering” and “violating all the foundations and rules of private property and international law”.

Peskov said the moves in the United Nations were an attempt to use the global forum to “formalise robbery”.

Asked whether Russia was ready to restore Ukraine’s damaged infrastructure, Peskov added: “No, that’s out of the question.”

The UN resolution, supported by 94 of the assembly’s 193 members with 14 votes against, said Russia “must bear the legal consequences of all of its internationally wrongful acts, including making reparation for the injury, including any damage, caused by such acts.”

INTERACTIVE-UN GA vote Russia pays reparations

Bloomberg reports that Russia is expected to agree to an extension of a United Nations-brokered grain deal.

The report said that Russia would likely allow the deal to renew after its November 19 expiration, citing four people familiar with the discussions.

The report said that the quoted people did not specify whether Russia would seek to add new conditions in return for the extension or any other details.


During the Group of 20 (G20) summit, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said Ukraine’s conditions for restarting talks with Moscow were “unrealistic,” as pressure mounts on Russia to end the conflict.

“I said again that all problems are with the Ukrainian side, which is categorically refusing negotiations and putting forward conditions that are obviously unrealistic,” Lavrov told reporters, saying he had put forward that position during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The war in Ukraine has taken centre stage during the first day of talks at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

10:23 GMT – Russia, Ukraine guilty of prisoner torture: UN

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) says Russia and Ukraine have tortured prisoners of war during the conflict, including using electric shocks and forced nudity.

The UN Ukraine-based monitoring team based its findings on interviews with more than 100 prisoners of war on each side of the conflict.

It said that the interviews with Ukrainian prisoners of war were conducted after their release since Russia did not grant access to detention sites.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine on February 24, denies torture or other forms of maltreatment of POWs (Prisoners Of War).

Kyiv has previously said it checks all information regarding the treatment of POWs and will investigate any violations and take appropriate legal action.

10:18 GMT- EU, US have promised to remove obstacles on exporting grain, says Russia

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, tells reporters at the G20 summit that the UN has told him of written US and EU promises to remove obstacles to exporting Russian grain and fertilisers to world markets.

While Western sanctions do not directly affect grains and fertilisers, Moscow has complained for months that they are effectively restricted because they limit access to ports, finance and insurance.

Lavrov said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told him he had written promises from the United States and the EU to implement the part of that deal that concerned Russia’s exports so that operators handling Russian grain would not be sanctioned.

He added that if these promises were realised, all obstacles to the export of Russian grain and fertilisers would be removed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he has spoken with the leaders of France and Germany on the conflict in Ukraine, accusing Kyiv of dragging out any possible resolution.

Speaking to reporters in Bali at the G20 summit, Lavrov said Ukraine was refusing to talk to Moscow and had put forward unrealistic conditions for peace.

Lavrov added that he had concluded that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not listen to Western advice after the Ukrainian president made a speech to the G20 summit in Bali via video link outlining proposals for a peace deal.

09:52 GMT- West tried to ‘politicise’ joint declaration, says Russia’s foreign minister

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Western countries tried to “politicise” a joint declaration at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali.

The draft declaration by leaders of the G20, seen by the Reuters news agency, said “most” members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it was exacerbating fragilities in the global economy.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry says it was working to gather details about the death of a Zambian student on the front line in Ukraine, the TASS news agency reported.

On Monday, Zambia asked Russia to explain how one of its citizens who was serving a prison sentence in Moscow had ended up on the battlefield in Ukraine.

09:30 GMT- Russian foreign minister meets UN chief at G20

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the G20 summit in Bali, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted a photo of the pair, but the ministry provided no details of what the pair discussed.

The meeting comes just days before the landmark Black Sea grain deal expires.

The initiative unlocked agricultural exports in July and helped push down global food prices.

But Moscow has not yet said whether it will extend its participation in the UN-backed deal, which is due to expire on November 19.

France’s presidency says Paris and Beijing must cooperate more closely to overcome the consequences of the war in Ukraine after Emmanuel Macron met Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Paris, in particular, hopes China would apply the necessary pressure on President Vladimir Putin despite no sign of a change in the Chinese position.

“The president expressed his deep concern over the choice made by Russia to continue this war in Ukraine,” the French presidency said in a statement.

“The consequences of this conflict go beyond Europe’s borders and should be overcome with close cooperation between France and China,” it said.

Macron’s office said the two leaders agreed it was urgent to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine and reaffirmed their position on preventing the use of nuclear weapons.

However, a Chinese summary of the talks did not mention Ukraine until the final paragraph, instead focusing on respecting each other’s core interests and a call for France to provide a fairer, more just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies in France.

“President Xi made the point that China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is clear and consistent; China stands for ceasefire, cessation of the conflict and peace talks,” the Chinese statement said.

08:40 GMT- End of Ukraine war best way for economic recovery: Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has told a session at the Group of 20 leaders that the best way of achieving a recovery in the global economy would be ending Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“Above all, I would like to once again make very clear that the most effective way to get a recovery in the world economy is to end Russia’s war against Ukraine,” Scholz told the food and energy security session at the meeting in Bali.

08:15 GMT- FIFA chief appeals for World Cup ceasefire in Ukraine

The president of the world football body has appealed for a one-month ceasefire in Ukraine to mark the World Cup, saying sport could bring people together.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino, addressing leaders of the G20 said the World Cup opening Sunday in Qatar could serve as a “positive trigger” in the nearly nine-month Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“My plea to all of you is to think of a temporary ceasefire for one month for the duration of the World Cup,” he said.

If not a full ceasefire, Infantino said there can be “the implementation of some humanitarian corridors or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue”.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that Ukraine leader Zelenskyy’s statement that there will be no “Minsk 3” deal to end the fighting in Ukraine confirms Kyiv is not interested in holding peace talks, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Zelenskyy ruled out a third “Minsk agreement” in a speech to G20 leaders in Bali, a reference to two failed ceasefire deals between Kyiv and Moscow in 2014 and 2015 over the status of the eastern Donbas region.

“We will not allow Russia to wait, build up its forces, and then start a new series of terror and global destabilisation. There will be no Minsk 3, which Russia will violate immediately after the agreement,” Zelenskyy said.

07:33 GMT-  Xi warns against ‘weaponisation’ of food and energy

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned the G20 against the “weaponisation” of food and energy, in a possible veiled criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We must firmly oppose politicisation, instrumentalisation and weaponisation of food and energy problems,” Xi told the summit in Bali, while also repeating his familiar opposition to Western sanctions policy.

A draft of a declaration by leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) leading economies seen by the Reuters news agency strongly condemned the war in Ukraine. It stressed it was exacerbating fragilities in the global economy.

“There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions,” said the draft declaration, which was confirmed by a European diplomat. The declaration has yet to be adopted.

06:57 GMT- Zelenskyy pushes peace plan at G20 summit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday urged world leaders to back a plan to end the war in his country, saying now was the time to push for peace after Russia’s defeat in the southern city of Kherson.

Zelenskyy who made the remarks at speech at the G20, said Ukraine would not allow Russian forces to regroup after their withdrawal from Kherson, and said there would be more fighting until Ukraine reclaims control of all of its occupied territory.

Source: Al Jazeera
Photo: The Guardian

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