Zelensky addresses ‘G19’ leaders, tells them ‘now is the time’ to end Russia’s war

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky referred on Tuesday (November 15) to the G20 as the G19, and told the leaders that “now is the time” to end the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and “save thousands of lives”. 

In a video address, Zelensky addressed the leaders of the G20 summit, which is currently underway in Indonesia. But in an attempt to exclude Russia, he referred to it as G19. 

As per his speech translated by news agencies, Zelensky said: “I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped. It will save thousands of lives.” 

Leaders including China’s Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden were present in the room, but Russian President Vladimir Putin was not there as he opted to not attend the summit in person. Instead, he sent his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Bali. 

WATCH | Indian PM Modi holds informal discussions with US President 

ALSO READ | G20 summit: Biden and Erdogan discuss Ukraine grain exports, says White House 

In reference to the recent escalation of nuclear war, Zelensky said that “the crazy threats of nuclear weapons that Russian officials resort to” must be stopped. 

“I thank you, dear G19, for making this clear. However, please use all your power to make Russia abandon nuclear threats and there are and cannot be any excuses for nuclear blackmail,” he added. 

On the other hand, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was listening to the address of the Ukrainian president. Lavrov has also accused Zelensky that he is prolonging the conflict and ignoring Western advice. 

ALSO READ | Russian FM terms Ukraine’s conditions to restart peace negotiations ‘unrealistic’ 

The Ukrainian leader mentioned that grain export and urged world leaders for the expansion and indefinite extension of a grain deal, which is crucial to tackling the ongoing food crisis that emerged due to the Ukraine war. 

The deal was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, but it will expire on November 19. 

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