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At virtual G20 summit, Putin responds to criticism of war on Ukraine, blaming Kyiv for lack of peace talks

Source: Meduza

Participating via video link, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the G20 leaders’ virtual summit, reports the Kremlin’s press service.

During his address, Putin responded to statements from other leaders who had expressed shock over the ongoing war in Ukraine. Putin attempted to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and repeated that Moscow is open to peace negotiations, blaming Kyiv for refusing to come to the table. He then shifted to talk about the war in the Middle East.

Some colleagues have already said in their addresses that they are shocked by Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine. Yes, of course, military actions are always a tragedy for individuals, specific families, and the country as a whole. And of course, we should think about how to end this tragedy.

By the way, Russia has never refused peace talks with Ukraine. It is not Russia, but Ukraine that publicly announced its withdrawal from the negotiation process. […]

I understand that this war, and the loss of life, cannot but shock. And is the bloody coup in Ukraine in 2014, followed by the Kyiv regime’s war against its people in Donbas, not shocking? And is the extermination of civilians in Palestine, in the Gaza Strip, not shocking?

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping declined to participate in the G20 video summit. Putin did not attend the earlier in-person G20 summit in India, due to his “busy schedule,” sending Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to lead the Russian delegation in his stead.

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