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G20 firm on supporting Ukraine, says European Council President
New Delhi: President of the European Council, Charles Michel has reiterated that the European Union (EU) is firm on backing Ukraine in the current G20 Summit.
Michel has said that the group is "united and firm" in "supporting Ukraine and sanctioning Russia."
He also said that the group feels a need to interest China to play a positive role at a global level.
Addressing a press briefing in the national capital on Friday ahead of the G20 Summit that begins tomorrow, Michel said, "...When we have a permanent member (Russia) of the Security Council taking a decision to longshot an attack, a war it is a blatant violation of the UN Charter. This is something very serious.
“So, we are acting very united and very firm in supporting Ukraine and sanctioning Russia. How, on the inside, we see the relationship with China - we feel that we need to interest China to play a positive role at a global level into different UN Charter, into the sovereignty of Ukraine...," he said.
"This G20 meeting is one more occasion to make the clarity about the Russian behaviour. By launching this war against Ukraine and transforming the Black Sea into a battlefield, Russia is shooting again a missile against the developing countries..." the European Council President said.
"It's frankly scandalous that Russia, after having terminated the Black Sea grain initiative, is blocking and attacking Ukrainian ports. This must stop," he said.
Russia had this July said that it was terminating its participation in a deal that allowed the export of Ukrainian grain. The agreement was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July 2022 and permitted Ukrainian ships to get around a Russian blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports and safely navigate the waterway to Turkey's Bosphorus Strait in order to access international markets.
The failure of the agreement raised food prices worldwide and stoked concerns that the world's poorest nations would struggle to feed their populations. The UN too had recently sought to revive the deal.
On Sunday, Russian forces attacked Ukrainian port facilities on the Danube River used for food exports. An assistant to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Kremlin intended for the strikes to spark a "food crisis" in the country.
“Russian terrorists continue to attack port infrastructure in the hope that they will be able to provoke a food crisis and famine in the world,” the aide, Andriy Yermak, said on the messaging app Telegram.
Meanwhile, when asked if he is expecting the African Union to be a part of the G20 this weekend, the President of the 27-member European Council said that this G20 will not be able to resolve all problems in two days.
“I don't think that this G20 will dissolve in two days all the problems of the world...But I feel it can be a route step into a direction to ensure to make it happen and to support Indian presidency,” he said
“The European Union is looking forward to welcome African Union as a permanent member of the G20,” Michel said at the media briefing in Delhi.
“The European Union supports African Union’s entry into G20,” he said.
In June 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a bold step in taking Africa's voice on the international stage and shaping the future of the shared world, sources said adding that he has written to G20 counterparts to provide the African Union with full membership at the G20 Summit in Delhi.
According to sources, Prime Minister Modi firmly advocates and supports the Africa cause and has led from the front in this matter.
Prime Minister Modi has advocated for a greater voice of the Global South countries, particularly of African countries, on international platforms. Further according to sources, as part of India's G20 Presidency, PM Modi he has particularly focused on incorporating priorities of the African countries in the G20 agenda.
More recently, in an editorial that has been published across newspapers, PM Modi wrote “the voice of Global South Summit, which witnessed participation from 125 countries, was one of the foremost initiatives under our Presidency. It was an important exercise to gather inputs and ideas from the Global South. Further, our Presidency has not only seen the largest-ever participation from African countries but has also pushed for the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20.”
A final decision on the proposal to include African Unon countries would be taken at the G-20 summit.
The African Union (AU) is an influential organisation comprising 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent.