Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks at a virtual public forum hosted by think-tank Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia on May 27, 2022. (JG Screenshot)

Zelenskyy to Attend G20 Summit Virtually if Russia War Still Continues

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

MAY 27, 2022

Jakarta. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday said he would not be attending the upcoming G20 summit in person if Russia's war in Ukraine had not come to an end by then.

Ukraine, however, would take part in the meeting virtually if allowed by the G20 host Indonesia.

"I cannot leave Ukraine, and I cannot go anywhere in person because I am staying with my people, they need my support, and I need their support here," Zelenskyy said at a virtual public forum hosted by the think-tank Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) on Friday.

"If the war continues, I would not join you. If there is war, it can be done online if your leadership accepts this option," Zelenskyy said.

The G20 summit is scheduled for November in Bali.

Last month, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo invited Zelenskyy to attend the G20 summit during a phone call.

"I am grateful to your leader, President of Indonesia, for his invitation to the G20 summit this autumn. We accept this invitation with honor and delight," Zelenskyy told the FPCI forum.

"By autumn, I expect the world to solve this big problem. We should not let big scale [issues] happen. We should stop the atrocities, [...] nuclear blackmail, threats of chemical, biological weapons. I believe that the summit will have friendly states, partner states, and will not have any aggressor."

Zelenskyy warned that the Russia-Ukraine war could deepen the global food crisis.

Ukraine is a significant foodstuff exporter, exporting tens of millions of tons of grains and other agricultural produce a year, according to Zelenskyy.

Unfortunately, Russia's blockade has taken a toll on Ukraine's grain shipments to other countries.

"Russia has cut access to our ports on the Black Sea and occupied part of the Azov Sea shoreline. Because of this military blockade, most of Ukraine's traditional trade routes have been blocked," Zelenskyy said while adding that Ukraine currently had about 22 million tons of grains sitting in its silos.

"If Russia successfully goes unpunished for that [blockade] in this war against Ukraine, other countries will see that sea blockades are possibly admissible instruments of asserting pressure in the modern world," Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy went on to say that the world's biggest economies are currently facing major challenges, including the growing global food crisis.

"By autumn, we might face a real crisis like the recent energy crisis in Europe. So I do hope that the G20 will be able to know the details of the situation to find a solution," Zelenskyy said.

Indonesia heavily relies on Ukraine for wheat. Indonesian Flour Producers Association (Aptindo) data showed that Indonesia imported 3.07 million tons of wheat from Ukraine in 2021, up 3.7 percent from 2.96 million a year earlier. 

SHARE


RECOMMENDED STORIES