Indonesia has called for an end to the war in Ukraine as it leads the G20 meeting of foreign ministers in Bali today.
At the opening of the meeting, Indonesian foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, said:
It is our responsibility to end the war sooner than later and settle our differences at the negotiating table, not the battlefield.”
She said that the world was just recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic when it was “already confronted with another crisis – the war in Ukraine.”
The ripple effects are being felt globally – on food, energy and fiscal space.
As always, developing and low-income countries are affected the most.”
The Group of 20 foreign ministers met with the top envoys from the United States and Russia attending, their first gathering since the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
The gathering will mark the first time that Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has met counterparts from nations that are strongly critical of the war.
US officials say that Secretary of State Antony Blinken will refuse to speak separately with Lavrov after Blinken warned Russia of massive consequences if it went ahead with the invasion of Ukraine during their last meeting in Geneva in January.
“It clearly cannot be business as usual when it comes to Russia’s involvement and engagement in enterprises like the G20,” a senior US official said ahead of the meeting.
Russia’s top diplomat was seated between the Saudi Arabian and Mexican foreign ministers as the meeting began.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said the raising of the Ukrainian flag on Snake Island in the Black Sea is a sign his country will not be broken.
In a national address on Thursday night, Zelenskiy said that the two-month operation to retake Snake Island was a warning to all Russian forces.
Let every Russian captain, aboard a ship or a plane, see the Ukrainian flag on Snake Island and let him know that our country will not be broken.”
Hello it’s Samantha Lock back with you as we unpack all the latest news from Ukraine this morning.
Vladimir Putin has issued one of his most ominous warnings yet, claiming Moscow has barely started its campaign in Ukraine and daring the west to try to defeat it on the battlefield.
Here are all the latest lines as of 8am in Kyiv.
- The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, warned Moscow had barely started its campaign in Ukraine and dared the west to try to defeat it on the battlefield. Putin said the prospects for any negotiation would grow dimmer the longer the conflict dragged on, during a speech to parliamentary leaders. “Everyone should know that, by and large, we haven’t started anything yet in earnest,” he said. “The further it goes, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.”
- Three people were killed and another five wounded after Russian forces fired rockets at Kharkiv, officials said. The regional governor, Oleh Synyehubov, said a district in the north-eastern Ukrainian city was shelled on Thursday.
- The mayor of Sloviansk said his city near Kramatorsk had come under Russian fire. Some residents were injured, said Vadym Lyakh, without providing further details. Ukraine’s military said pressure was intensifying with heavy shelling on Sloviansk and nearby populated areas.
- Foreign analysts say Russia may be temporarily easing its offensive in eastern Ukraine in an “operational pause” as its forces attempt to reassemble for a new assault. Russian forces made no claimed or assessed territorial gains in Ukraine on Wednesday “for the first time in 133 days of war”, according to the Institute for the Study of War.
- The UN has warned of a “looming hunger catastrophe” due to Russia’s blockade on Ukrainian grain. Patrick Beasley, director of the UN World Food Program, said a hunger catastrophe was set to explode over the next two years and called for an urgent lifting of the blockade on 25m tonnes of Ukrainian grain trapped by a Russian blockade.
- Investigators in Ukraine said they had foiled a criminal gang that forced women into sex work abroad after luring them with false advertisements for legitimate employment. Authorities in Kyiv arrested the suspected leader of the gang after months of surveillance resulted in them stopping a woman as she was about to cross the border.
- Russian prosecutors have called for prison sentences for a prominent opposition activist and for a Moscow city council member who opposes the invasion of Ukraine. Alexei Gorinov faces up to 15 years in prison for spreading “knowingly false information” about the Russian army. Gorinov criticised Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine at a city council meeting in March.
- Russia’s foreign minister has flown to the Indonesian island of Bali for a gathering of G20 foreign ministers. The gathering, which is likely to be overshadowed by Moscow’s war in Ukraine and deep divisions within the bloc over how to respond to the crisis, will mark the first time that Sergei Lavrov has met counterparts from nations that are strongly critical of the war.
- Boris Johnson spoke with Volodymyr Zelenskiy “to reiterate the United Kingdom’s steadfast support” in light of his resignation as British prime minister, Downing Street said. In his resignation speech outside No 10, Johnson addressed the people of Ukraine directly and promised that “the UK will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes”.