Day 563 of the Invasion of Ukraine: The G-20 Summit called for Peace
Day 563 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- The declaration from the G-20 summit calls for peace in Ukraine
- Kyiv sharply criticized the Pope for his "pro-Russian" position
- Russia has said it will stick to its terms to return to the grain deal
- Putin voted online in the regional elections, which included Ukrainian regions
- The UN secretary-general has offered Moscow an easing of sanctions if the grain deal is saved
- Putin congratulated Kim on 75 years DPRK
- The US is discussing the transfer of ATACMS tactical missiles to Ukraine
- A drone attack was carried out against a factory and a train station in the Russian city of Bryansk
- According to Putin, the West provoked the conflict in Ukraine to hold back Russia's development
The declaration from the G-20 summit calls for peace in Ukraine
The G20 adopted a consensus leadership declaration on the opening day of a summit in Delhi that avoided condemning Russia for the war in Ukraine but urged all countries to refrain from using force to seize territory, Reuters reported.
The president of the host country India, Narendra Modi, announced that the declaration had been adopted on the first day of this weekend's summit.
The consensus came as a surprise as the group is deeply divided over the war in Ukraine, with Western nations previously pushing for a strong condemnation of Russia in the leadership's declaration, while other countries urged it to focus on broader economic issues.
"We call on all countries to respect the principles of international law, including territorial integrity and sovereignty, international humanitarian law and the multilateral system that guarantees peace and stability," the statement said. "We welcome all appropriate and constructive initiatives that support the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine," it added.
"The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible," the declaration also said.
The leadership declaration also calls for the implementation of the Black Sea initiative for the safe transportation of grain, food and fertilizers from Ukraine and Russia. Moscow pulled out of the deal in July, arguing that its demands to implement a parallel deal to ease rules on Russian food and fertilizer exports had not been met.
"Thanks to the hard work of all teams, we have been able to reach a consensus on the G20 Leaders' Summit Declaration. I announce the adoption of this declaration," Modi told leaders in Delhi, including US President Joe Biden and government and state officials from around the world.
Differing views on the war have so far prevented agreement on even a single communiqué from ministerial meetings during India's G20 chairmanship this year.
The leadership statement said the group had agreed to address the problem of debt vulnerability in low- and middle-income countries "in an effective, comprehensive and systematic way", but made no mention of a new action plan.
It also said the countries committed to strengthening and reforming multilateral development banks, while a proposal for stricter regulation of cryptocurrencies was adopted.
It was also agreed that the world needs cheap financing for the energy transition, worth a total of four trillion dollars a year, as well as a high share of renewable energy in the primary energy mix.
The statement also called for accelerating efforts to phase out coal power, but added that this should be done "in accordance with national conditions and recognizing the need to support a just transition".
Kyiv sharply criticized the Pope for his "pro-Russian" position
Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said that Pope Francis cannot mediate a peaceful end to the war, as he has already taken a "pro-Russian position".
He made this statement in an interview with Channel 24.
"This is completely unconscious, of course, but it damages the reputation of the Holy See. Moreover, it is absolutely impossible to reach a mediating mission on the part of the Vatican", commented Podolyak. - "There is no point in talking about a mediator in the face of the Pope, if he takes a pro-Russian position, something that is quite obvious to all".
"It didn't happen once, but it was kind of messed up at first. They thought that we did not notice him, but today it can be seen that the man takes a pro-Russian position. And accordingly, this affects the war very negatively".
He added that "the Vatican cannot have any mediating function, because such a function would mislead Ukraine or the others."
The reason for Podoliak's reaction is the following statement by Pope Francis, part of a message to young Catholics in St. Petersburg:
"Don't forget (your) heredity. You are inheritors of the great Russia - the great Russia of the saints, of the tsars, the great Russia of Peter the Great, of Catherine the Second, of the great Russian Empire, cultural, with so much culture, with so much humanity. You are the heirs of the great mother Russia. Go forward."
This statement predictably caused a negative reaction from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. The Pope was accused of "encouraging Russian imperialism", and his words were "worthy of deep regret".
The Vatican later clarified that Francis' goal was not to promote Russian imperialism, but for young people to "preserve and promote everything positive in the great Russian cultural and spiritual heritage."
Russia has said it will stick to its terms to return to the grain deal
Russia has said it will stick to its terms to return to the Black Sea grain deal it withdrew from in July, Reuters reported.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow specifically wanted its state-owned agricultural bank, not a subsidiary as proposed by the United Nations, to be linked to the SWIFT international bank payments system.
Meanwhile, the EU accused Russia of "cynicism" over its withdrawal from the grain deal and said Russia's offer to supply one million tonnes of grain to African countries was a "parody of generosity".
Speaking at the annual G20 summit in Delhi, European Council President Charles Michel said the grain deal had provided vulnerable countries with more than 30 times more grain than the amount offered to Africa by Russia.
The grain deal was concluded in July 2022 with the aim of Ukraine exporting grain by sea despite the war and helping to alleviate the global food crisis.
Last week, the topic was also part of the talks between Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, who told the media that he had offered his Russian counterpart new opportunities to renew the agreement.
Putin voted online in the regional elections, which included Ukrainian regions
Russian President Vladimir Putin today voted online in regional elections in Russia, calling on Russians to follow his example and participate in the vote, reported AFP.
"I call on the residents of the regions, where elections are currently being held, to participate," Putin said in a video broadcast by the Kremlin. "What's more, the election procedures in our country are organized in the most convenient way possible," added the Russian president, sitting in front of the computer in his office.
Regional elections in Russia for the appointment of governors, regional deputies and municipal councilors are produced within three days in the country - from Friday to Sunday. According to the authorities, this is so that as many voters as possible can cast their vote, AFP points out. Online voting is also possible in several Russian regions, including the capital Moscow. This year, Russia also organized voting in four occupied Ukrainian regions - Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The UN secretary-general has offered Moscow an easing of sanctions if the grain deal is saved
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has entered into contact with Russia to try to obtain concessions through which the Black Sea Grain Initiative can be resumed, DPA reported. The agency notes that the agreement, ensuring safe exports of Ukrainian grain, is considered extremely important for ensuring global food security and curbing rising grain prices.
In a letter, Guterres offered Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov the possibility of his country becoming part of the SWIFT international banking payment system again, but only for certain payments, and that through the creation of a subsidiary of the Russian agricultural bank "Rosselkhozbank".
Thus, the export of Russian fertilizers and agricultural goods will be restored within 30 days, the document adds.
In the letter, which is dated August 28, the UN makes three proposals to ease Russian exports, relating to the insurance of sea cargo, the unfreezing of frozen assets of fertilizer producers in Europe and the provision of access for Russian ships to European ports. In return, the World Organization is counting on Russia to push for a renewal of the grain agreement, which official name is the “Black Sea Grain Initiative”.
In July, Moscow ended its participation in the agreement, which provided safe corridors for the export of tens of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain and fertilizer through the Black Sea despite a naval blockade imposed on Ukraine after the Russian invasion.
Putin congratulated Kim on 75 years DPRK
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the declaration of the DPRK, TASS reported, referring to a congratulatory telegram published on the Kremlin's website.
In his congratulatory telegram, Putin recalled that the Soviet Union "was the first to recognize the new sovereign state that appeared on Korean soil."
"Since then, relations between our countries have always been based on the principles of friendship, good neighborliness and mutual respect. Considerable experience of constructive cooperation in various fields has been accumulated," Putin said.
The Russian leader also expresses his confidence that bilateral relations will continue to deepen in all spheres.
"This fully meets the interests of our peoples, as well as the need to ensure security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia," Vladimir Putin emphasized.
In the telegram, Putin wishes Kim Jong-un good health and success, and all the citizens of the DPRK - peace and prosperity.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un today marked the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the DPRK with a parade of paramilitary formations and with diplomatic contacts, expressing readiness to deepen ties with China and Russia, Reuters reported, quoted by BTA.
Kim watched the parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang and held talks with the representatives of the Chinese delegation that arrived in North Korea on the occasion of the holiday and is headed by Vice Premier Liu Guozhong, the North Korean news agency KCNA reported.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent the North Korean leader a letter expressing his desire to strengthen strategic communications and working-level cooperation with him.
Along with Kim Jong-un in the parade were his daughter Kim Ju-ae, Chinese and Russian diplomats. The Russian military orchestra "Alexandrov" also took part in the parade.
During the parade, paratroopers landed on the square, and planes flew in formation in the sky, depicting the number "75".
Formations of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Militia and military equipment passed through the square in a solemn march.
The parade comes as North Korea tries to strengthen ties with China and Russia and pay even more attention to developing new weapons in view of deepening military cooperation between South Korea, the United States and Japan.
The parade was also held amid news that North Korea had built a "tactical nuclear attack submarine" capable of carrying out a nuclear attack. Leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to "further strengthen the nuclear deterrent potential" of his country.
The North Korean leader is reportedly expected to travel to the Russian city of Vladivostok next week to meet with Vladimir Putin and discuss a possible arms deal with him.
The US is discussing the transfer of ATACMS tactical missiles to Ukraine
ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles (Army Tactical Missile System) may be included in the next package of US military aid to Ukraine, and at the moment such a decision is being discussed by the US government, ABC TV reported, citing its own sources.
"Their dispatch is nearing," said a US official with access to defense aid plans. However, he noted that, as always, such plans are subject to change until they are officially announced, reports ABC.
Another official said the missiles were "under discussion" and would likely be included in the next military aid package for Ukraine. The official clarified that the final decision has not yet been made. According to him, it could be months before Kyiv receives the missiles.
The launch of the ATACMS missiles, which have a range of up to 300 km, can be carried out by HIMARS systems.
The US government has so far rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's requests for the missiles even after Britain and France sent similar “Storm Shadow” missiles to Ukraine. Washington justified its refusal with fears of an escalation of relations with Russia, as well as with considerations to preserve its own military arsenal, UNIAN points out.
A drone attack was carried out against a factory and a train station in the Russian city of Bryansk
A drone attack was carried out yesterday against an electronics factory and a railway station in the Russian city of Bryansk, located near the border with Ukraine, local authorities reported, quoted by DPA.
Bryansk Oblast Governor Alexander Bogomaz said Russian air defenses had intercepted at least three drones over or near the city.
Two of the drones damaged the railway station and an administrative building of the plant, but no one was injured, added the governor, who blamed Ukraine for the attack.
Bryansk experienced a similar attack on the station the day before, DPA points out.
The plant, where electronics are produced mainly for the needs of the Russian army, has been the subject of drone attacks since the end of August, DPA notes.
According to Putin, the West provoked the conflict in Ukraine to hold back Russia's development
The West caused the conflict in Ukraine to hold back Russia's development, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today, as quoted by TASS.
At a meeting with young scientists from the Russian Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov, Putin recalled his previous visit to this city in the Nizhny Novgorod Region in 2014. "Then our detractors took their first steps in their attempts to limit our technological sovereignty, hinder our development", the Russian president said, referring to the sanctions imposed on his country by the West after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Putin recalled that nine years ago he spoke about the need "to take vigorous measures to guarantee the technological sovereignty" of Russia. "I must say that our predictions have come true," he noted.
The Russian president summed up that a lot has been done to guarantee his country's technological sovereignty, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February, Putin has often said the war was provoked by the West. During these nearly 19 months, the Russian president rarely appears in public.
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