Biden says Russia should be expelled from G20 amid war on Ukraine

by Anadolu Agency


US President Joe Biden called for Russia to be expelled from the G20 group of nations on Thursday due to its ongoing war against Ukraine.

Biden, however, acknowledged that any action “depends on the G20,” but said it was discussed during his meetings with NATO and allied nations in Brussels. Biden said he proposed an alternative if there is no agreement within the body for Russia’s removal.

In that event, Biden said Ukraine should be allowed to attend G20 meetings as an observer.

The G20 includes some of the world’s largest economies. Russia was removed from what was then known as the G8 in 2014 after it unilaterally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, and began its support for separatists rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The G8 is now the G7, and includes the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Biden continued to warn Russia against any potential use of chemical weapons in Ukraine, saying “we would respond if” Russian President Vladimir Putin uses the weapons of mass destruction. He continued to remain vague on the nature of the response, after previously warning of “severe consequences.”

“The nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use,” Biden said during a press conference at NATO headquarters.

The US president hailed the transatlantic alliance’s unity in the face of Russia’s war, saying it “has never, never been more united than it is today.”

“Putin is getting exactly the opposite of what he intended to have as a consequence of going into Ukraine. We built that same unity with the European Union, and with the leading democracies in the G7,” Biden said.

Russia began its assault on Feb. 24. It has been met with international outrage with the EU, US, and UK, among others, imposing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,035 civilians have been killed so far in Ukraine and 1,650 injured, according to UN estimates, while officials cautioned the true toll is likely far higher. Over 3.6 million Ukrainians have also fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency.

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