The Ukrainian president said an end to the conflict “will save thousands of lives.” He also criticized “the crazy nuclear weapons threats that Russian officials resort to,” referring to the Kremlin's dark rhetoric
FILE PHOTO-Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky , during a news conference in kyiv, Ukraine, October 31, 2022. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi
Now is the time to end Russia's“destructive” war and “saving thousands of lives”, said the President of Ukraine on Tuesday, Volodimir Zelensky, at the G20 summit in Bali via video.
“I am convinced that now is the time for the destructive Russian war must and can be stopped,” he said, according to a speech obtained by AFP. “It will save thousands of lives.”
Wearing his now-familiar army green T-shirt and speaking in Ukrainian, Zelensky addressed leaders such as Xi Jinping< /b> China and US President Joe Biden.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, was not in the room as he avoided the meeting and sent his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov , to Bali instead.
Zelensky criticized “the crazy nuclear weapons threats that Russian officials resort to,” referring to Putin's dark rhetoric that has made even Beijing uncomfortable.
“There are and cannot be any excuses for nuclear blackmail”, he added, pointedly thanking the “G19″, excluding Russia, for “making this clear”.
The Ukrainian leader also called for the expansion and indefinite extension of a grain deal negotiated by the United Nations and Turkey which will expire on November 19.
Ukraine is one of the world's leading grain producers, and the Russian invasion blocked 20 million tons of grain in its ports until an agreement was reached in July.
“I think that our grain export initiative deserves an indefinite extension, no matter when the war ends,” Zelensky said, urging its expansion to other ports.
The Ukrainian leader also accused Russia of an “attempt to weaponize the cold” with a campaign of attacks against key infrastructure before next winter.
Zelensky also backed a US-led push for a price cap on Russian oil exports “so that energy resources are no longer used as weapons.”
“If Russia is trying to deprive Ukraine, Europe and all energy consumers in the world of price predictability and stability, l The response to this should be a forced limitation of export prices for Russia.”
(With information from AFP)