Biden Explains Why Russia Was Not Named Aggressor in G20 Declaration

Monday, 11 September 2023

US President Joe Biden explained the absence of a direct condemnation of Russian aggression against Ukraine in the G20 declaration adopted over the weekend. 

Biden at a press conference in Vietnam on 10 September was answering the question of why Russia was not named as an aggressor in the final declaration of the G20 countries and whether this issue was problematic in relations with the Global South. 

"It’s not a wedge issue of the Global South," Biden said.

He said that "it’s a wedge issue with Russia, which was present, and with China, which had the representation."

"And so — and, by the way, I am a — my — my team, my staff still meets with President Xi’s people and his Cabinet," Biden added.

He also said that at the meeting in India, the G20 leaders discussed Russia's brutal and illegal war in Ukraine.

"And there was sufficient agreement in the room on the need for a just — for a just and lasting peace that upholds the principles of the U.N. Charter and respects sovereignty and territorial integrity," Biden said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the G20 leaders' declaration on Russia's war against Ukraine, which Kyiv expressed disappointment with.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry criticised Saturday's G20 communiqué, describing the document as having "nothing to be proud of" in terms of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

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