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Russia’s War in Ukraine High on Agenda of G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting

July 6, 2022, 09.20 PM – Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is high on the agenda as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with other foreign ministers from the Group of 20 largest economies, or G-20, this week in Bali, Indonesia.

Blinken departed Wednesday, July 6, for the ministerial, where he will also participate in bilateral meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

On the agenda of the meetings between the top US and Chinese diplomats is possible cooperation on climate change, global health, counter-narcotics, and the situation in Myanmar, said US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink.

The US wants to responsibly manage its “intense competition” with China, and there is a need to establish “guardrails” to avoid unintended conflicts, he told reporters during a Tuesday phone briefing.

Blinken will have two lengthy meetings with Wang, with the first session likely focusing on bilateral relations and the second focusing on regional and international issues, according to diplomatic sources.

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After the G-20 ministerial, Blinken will head to Bangkok, where he is expected to discuss the situation in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

“The subject of Burma will feature prominently” both in meetings and on the margins of the G-20 and in Bangkok, Kritenbrink said, adding the US would continue to “condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the Burmese military regime’s brutal actions since the coup d'état, the killing of nearly 2,000 people and displacing more than 700,000 others.”

Over the weekend, Wang visited Myanmar, his first visit to the country since the military seized power last year.

While Ukraine is not a G-20 member, its foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, was invited to this week’s ministerial after Ukraine became a European Union candidate. Kuleba said he had coordinated his country’s positions with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell ahead of time.

“We both agree on the need for the seventh EU sanctions package on Russia and we are working on it,” Kuleba said in a tweet.

According to US officials, Russia’s war on Ukraine has caused global economic instability, and Washington will not ease pressure on the Kremlin until Russia ends its military offensive.

No formal meeting has been scheduled between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Bali. The US is not ruling out the possibility of a walkout to protest Lavrov’s presence at the G-20.

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“[I am] not going to speak at this stage to choreography, but we expect the secretary can be a full and active participant while also staying true to another overriding objective, and that is the fact that it cannot be business as usual with the Russian Federation,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Tuesday.

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