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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Zelensky tells G20 ‘war must end now’

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Bali: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told world leaders at the G20 Bali summit that Russia’s war must end now.

He also pleaded for an extension of a significant grain export deal due to expire soon, BBC reports.

Zelensky appeared in a video speech beamed to leaders gathered on the Indonesian island.

Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia — a member of G20 — refused to attend and sent his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov instead.

In his speech, Zelensky said: “I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped.”

He outlined a number of strategies, including ensuring nuclear and food safety, the ending of hostilities, and a prevention of escalation.

He repeatedly addressed the leaders as the “G19” — pointedly excluding Russia, the report said.

Chief among his requests was an extension of what is known as the Black Sea grain deal which was struck in July between the United Nations and Russia.

It has ensured that food exports blocked at Ukrainian ports by Russian warships can be shipped out.

The UN says since the deal began, 10 million tonnes of grain and other food have been successfully exported, helping to stave off a global food crisis.

But the deal expires on November 19. Speaking on Tuesday at a G20 session on food security, Zelensky said the deal should be extended indefinitely, “no matter when the war ends”.

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