Gaza Strip’s loss of life equally shocking as that of Ukraine: Russian President Putin at G20 virtual summit

Gaza Strip’s loss of life equally shocking as that of Ukraine: Russian President Putin at G20 virtual summit

Moscow, Nov 22 (PTI) Acknowledging that what is happening in Ukraine is undoubtedly a 'tragedy', Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said conflicts elsewhere, including in the Gaza Strip, are also 'shocking' and urged the G20 nations to make efforts to end conflicts.

Putin made these remarks while virtually addressing the G20 meeting hosted by India. Putin had skipped the in-person G20 summit in New Delhi in September, saying he had to focus on the 'special military operation' in Ukraine.

Russia's state-run Tass news agency reported that Putin's remarks came in the wake of the statements by some leaders who said they were “shaken by the ongoing aggression in Ukraine.” “I understand that this war can’t help but be shocking. But the bloody coup in Ukraine in 2014, which was followed by the Kiev regime’s war against its own people in Donbass — was that not shocking? And the extermination of civilians in Palestine, in the Gaza Strip now — isn’t that shocking?” Putin said.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and the war between the two countries continues to attract regular criticism from Western countries.

Describing how “the fact that doctors [in Gaza] have to perform abdominal surgeries on children, apply a scalpel on children’s bodies without anaesthesia,” Putin asked, “Is that not shocking?” He agreed that “military operations are always a tragedy for some people, some families and the country as a whole.” “And, of course, we must think about how to stop this,' Putin said in his address at the virtual summit chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Stressing that what is happening in Ukraine is “undoubtedly a tragedy” and declaring that it is necessary to “look for ways to put an end to it as soon as possible,” Putin said, it was Ukraine, not Russia, that refused to negotiate and closed the way for a dialogue.

“Russia has never rejected peace talks with Ukraine. It was not Russia, but Ukraine that publicly announced that it was withdrawing from the negotiation process. And, moreover, a decree — an order of the head of state — was signed to prohibit such talks with Russia,” he asserted.

Putin had echoed similar sentiments a day earlier at a special virtual meeting of the BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – convened to discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Further claiming that the attempts to spark confrontation around the world are continuing, the Russian leader pointed out that the Group of Twenty (G20) was established to find solutions to pressing international socio-economic issues and (now) such a consolidating attitude is very much in demand. 'Particularly, since a variety of confrontational attempts are still continuing,” he emphasised.

Speaking as the leader of the host country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the prevailing insecurity and instability in the Middle East/West Asia and said that it is important to ensure that the Israel-Hamas war does not take the shape of a regional conflict.

G20 leaders also welcomed the temporary ceasefire agreed upon by Israel and Hamas earlier in the day that will allow the release of 50 hostages held by the militant group in Gaza in exchange for 150 Palestinian detainees apart from the entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged territory.

Putin also made a mention of the situation in the global economy, which, he said, requires “consensus and consideration” of the opinions of different countries. “Now the situation in the global economy, and in the world as a whole, requires collective, consensus decisions that reflect the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the international community, both developed and developing countries,” Putin added. PTI NPK AKJ NPK NPK

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