War in Ukraine Divided EU and Latin America Summit

Tuesday, 18 July 2023

At the EU-Latin America and Caribbean Summit, a dispute arose over Russia's war against Ukraine, and the leaders failed to agree on a joint statement.

As officials familiar with the negotiations shared with Reuters, countries with close political and economic ties to Russia, such as Cuba and Nicaragua, were resisting attempts to include language condemning Russia.

Arriving at the summit on Tuesday, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the communique had to be "very clear on Ukraine, this is a war of aggression."

"There were talks late last night on the language, almost every country was able to sign up to a text that was clearly supportive of Ukraine, its right for independence, for freedom. One or two held out. Let's see again this morning," he said.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said the communique could not be used to "rewrite history."

"The fact is that Russia aggressed Ukraine ... we have to face the reality," he told reporters.

He suggested the statement could end up saying that some specific countries did not agree with the language on Ukraine.

Chile's Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren said his government regretted the dispute.

"We're very sorry for the situation really and we're very surprised that there are members of our group which oppose any resolution concerning the war in Ukraine," he said.

Earlier, it was reported that financial leaders from Group of 20 nations, who have gathered in India's Gandhinagar city for a two-day meeting, have not been able to reach a common language on the war in Ukraine.

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