Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: G-20 Diplomats Agree on Statement Despite Differences on Russia

Group of 20 diplomats agreed on a proposed communique to put to their leaders when they meet Tuesday in Bali, Indonesia, after a tense day of negotiations to overcome differences on how hard to criticize Russia for its war in Ukraine, according to officials familiar with the matter. If leaders sign off it will avoid this becoming the first G-20 summit to end without a joint statement at all. To get there, negotiators had to devise language that walked the line between acknowledging Russia’s concerns and extracting concessions from it. One diplomat cautioned that things were not completely ironed on with the full draft still not circulating even as a verbal understanding was reached, and with leaders yet to approve the language. The planned draft declaration will point to an earlier United Nations resolution, which deplored Russia’s aggression while demanding it withdraw from Ukraine, the people said. (https://news.yahoo.com/g-20-diplomats-draft-communique-133312244.html) At the same time, the proposed G-20 statement will note differences between some nations by recalling their previously-stated positions on the conflict, the people said. One added the plan for now was to refer to the “war in Ukraine” as opposed to “Russia’s war in Ukraine.” Moscow insists on calling its invasion a “special military operation” and has made it a criminal offense at home to describe it as a war. Some officials had talked earlier Monday of the prospect of a communique involving different language in some parts where the war would be described.

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