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G20, APEC, ASEAN: World leaders conclude three summits in Asia — with Russia firmly on the sidelines

Bangkok, Thailand

Three major summit of world leaders One thing that has taken place across Asia over the past week has become clear: Vladimir Putin now on the sidelines on the world stage.

Putin, that attack on ukraine Over the past nine months, he has devastated European nations, disrupted the global economy, and refused to attend diplomatic rallies.

G20 (G20) summit in Bali earlier this week ended with a declaration It refers to positions expressed in other fora, including a UN resolution condemning, in the strongest terms, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, while pointing to differing views.

As the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit concludes in Bangkok on Saturday, the leaders of its 21 economies look likely to make a similar statement.

On Friday, the economies’ foreign ministers reached an agreement for the first time after months of meetings and debate on their own joint statement. This mirrors verbatim the language announced in Bali earlier this week and paves the way for APEC Leaders to do the same. Their meeting ends on Saturday.

“Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed what it caused immeasurable human suffering And exacerbating existing vulnerabilities in the global economy,” the document said, adding that there had been different “assessments” of the situation within the group.

Debate within the summit aside, the week has gone from Russian leaders hiding in Moscow, unwilling to even meet their opponents at major conferences, to an invasion to restore Russia’s former glory. It also shows that Putin, who is believed to have started the global conference.

Fear of potential political manipulation against him if he leaves the capital, an obsession with personal security, and the scene of the confrontation at the summit, especially as Russia faces heavy losses on the battlefield. The desire to avoid was all a calculation likely included in Putin’s assessment, said Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

On the other hand, he may not want to draw unnecessary attention to the few countries that maintain friendly relations with Russia, such as India and China, which Putin saw at a summit in Uzbekistan in September. .

“He doesn’t want to be this toxic man,” Gabuev said.

But even among countries that have not taken a tough line against Russia, there are signs that Russia, if not itself, has lost patience over the ramifications of its aggression. Security issues and soaring global inflation are now weighing on economies around the world.

Indonesia, which hosted the G20, has not explicitly condemned Russia’s aggression, but Indonesian President Joko Widodo told world leaders on Tuesday that “we must end the war.”

India, which has been a significant buyer of Russian energy even as the West has avoided Russian fuel in recent months, also said:find a way back to the path of the ceasefire” at the G20. The summit’s final declaration included the phrase “war should not be in this day and age,” which Modi told Putin when he met on the sidelines of a regional security summit in Uzbekistan in September. It reflects what you said.

China Strategic partnership with Russia Supported by the close relationship between President Xi Jinping and President Putin, Stance changeBeijing is long refused to condemn the aggression, or even referenced as such. On the contrary, denouncing Western sanctions and amplifying the Kremlin’s point of blaming the US and his NATO for the conflict, this rhetoric has appeared somewhat in the state-run domestic media in recent months. looks like it’s going backwards.

But at a meeting with Western leaders last week, Xi reiterated China’s call for a ceasefire through dialogueand agreed to oppose the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, according to readings from his interlocutors – but those remarks were not included in China’s account of the meeting.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi later told Chinese state media that President Xi Jinping, in a meeting with G20 bystander U.S. President Joe Biden, “cannot use nuclear weapons and cannot fight a nuclear war.” He said he reiterated China’s position.

But observers of China’s foreign policy say China’s desire to maintain strong ties with Russia is likely to remain unwavering.

Brian Hart, a China Power Project Fellow at the Institute for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said, “Though these statements are indirect criticisms of Vladimir Putin, they are not meant to keep China away from Russia. I don’t think so. an audience that wants to hear them

But Russia’s isolation appears to have grown even more grim on the back of Xi’s diplomatic visits to Bali and Bangkok this week.

While the Biden administration called Beijing, not Moscow, the “most serious long-term challenge” to the world order, Western leaders treat Xi as a valuable global partner, many of whom are Chinese leaders. Talk, communicate and cooperate.

Xi exchanged views with US Vice President Kamala Harris, who is representing the US in APEC, at an event on Saturday, according to Chinese state media and White House officials. The official said he repeated Biden’s message expressed at the meeting about the importance of keeping lines of communication open.

In an impassioned call for peace addressed to a meeting of business leaders on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Bangkok on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron said: The difference between Russian actions and tensions with China.

“What makes this war different is that it is an aggression against international rules. All nations… thanks to international rules,” Macron said, referring to the rivalry between the United States and China and the escalating confrontation in Asian waters. It is stable at the moment,” he said, calling on Russia to “take the negotiating table” and “respect the international order.”

US Vice President Kamala Harris met with US allies at APEC after North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Friday.

The urgency of that feeling Russian missile Two people died after landing in Poland during the G20 summit on Tuesday. As a NATO member, threats to Poland’s security could provoke reactions from across the bloc.

Things calmed down after initial investigations suggested missiles came from the Ukrainian side during missile defense, but highlighted the potential for a miscalculation to trigger a world war.

The day after this situation, Secretary of State Anthony Brinken pointed out what he called a “split screen.”

“What we are seeing is a very clear split screen. The world is working to help the most vulnerable, but Russia is targeting them. and reaffirmed our commitment to international rules that benefit all people.President Putin continues to seek to shatter the same principles,” Blinken told reporters in Bangkok on Thursday evening.

As we entered the week of the international conference, the United States and its allies were ready to project their message to their international peers. Rather, disagreements remain.

Both the G20 declaration and APEC ministerial-level statements acknowledged differences in how member states voted in the United Nations to support resolutions that “deplored” Russian aggression, with most member states “declaring” war. While strongly condemning, “there are other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.”

Even issuing such a warning was a painstaking process at both summits, according to officials. Mr Jokowi of Indonesia said G20 leaders were discussing the paragraph on Ukraine until “midnight”.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Prayut and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at APEC in Bangkok, Thailand on November 18, 2022.

The countries grouped have various geopolitical and economic ties with Russia that influence their stance. But some Asian countries may have other concerns about whether the measures criticizing Russia are part of a U.S. move to undermine Russia, said Thailand. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Kantati his Supamongkol said.

“Countries say they don’t want us to be pawns in this game to undermine another,” said Supamonkol, an advisory board member of the Rand Corporation Center for Asia-Pacific Policy (CAPP). said. Instead, he said, the framework for accusing Russia of “probably committed violations of international law and war crimes” would affect aspects of the situation “that everyone rejects here.” .

Denying Russia along these lines could also send a message to China, which has ignored international rulings refuting its territorial claims in the South China Sea and has vowed to “reunite” with Taiwan’s sovereign democracy. There is , force if necessary.

This week’s efforts may have increased the pressure on Putin, but the Russian leader has experience with such dynamics.It will be seen whether international representation has an impact.

But without Putin, leaders stressed this week that suffering would continue and would leave a hole in the international system.



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