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European leader calls on world, China to put pressure on Russia

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (UKTN) — The president of the European Council on Tuesday urged world powers to step up pressure on Russia over its war against Ukraine, including Moscow’s biggest supporter, China, saying the meeting This week’s report of the world’s major economies was crucial to halting Moscow’s advance. “to use food and energy as weapons.”

Charles Michel, speaking to reporters on the first day of the Group of 20 meeting in Bali, said Russia’s nine-month war, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has disrupted lives around the world as food and energy prices grow and economies stagnate.

“The war in Russia affects us all wherever we live, from Europe to Africa or the Middle East, and the best way to end the acute food and energy crisis is for Russia to end this senseless war and respects the UN Charter. ‘ said Michael. “The Kremlin has decided to weaponize food, fueling hunger, poverty and instability.”

Europe, Michel said, is working to help Ukraine, a major food exporter before the war, increase its shipments and is also trying to deal with disruptions in fertilizer supplies and rising prices. EU sanctions against Russia, he said, do not target agricultural products, even though Russia has imposed restrictions on its own food and fertilizer products.

“This is not a fight (of) Russia against the western part of the world. It is a battle for the UN Charter. It is a battle for international law. It is a battle over the idea that this is not acceptable to try to change internationally recognized boundaries by force.”

Michel said he had no plans to meet the top Russian presence in Bali, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, has largely refrained from public criticism of Russia’s war, though Beijing has avoided direct aid to the Russians, such as supplying arms. Michel avoided direct criticism of China when asked if Beijing has shown any signs of change in its steadfast support for Russia in recent days.

Instead, he said the G-20 meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday was important in convincing all countries present “to put more pressure on Russia”.

Following a meeting Monday between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden said the two leaders discussed Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and “reaffirmed our shared belief” that the use or even threat of nuclear weapons is “totally unacceptable” — a reference to Moscow’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons in the invasion of Ukraine have failed.

Michel said Europe must ensure that it enters into a different economic and political relationship with China than with Russia.

“We don’t want to make the same mistakes we might make with Russia on fossil fuels,” which Europe was very dependent on, “with China, (where) we don’t want to be too dependent on the innovative technology we need today and that we need even more in the future, which is why it is important to rebalance the relationship,” said Michel.