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Biden says Ukraine should be able to attend G20 meetings if US efforts to expel Russia are unsuccessful

‘The single most important thing is for us to stay unified and the world to continue to focus on what a brute this guy is’

Bevan Hurley
Thursday 24 March 2022 21:59 GMT
Biden says Ukraine should attend G20 meetings if efforts to expel Russia unsuccessful

President Joe Biden has called for Ukraine to be welcomed at future G20 summits should US attempts to expel Russia be unsuccessful.

After meeting with European allies on Thursday in Brussels, Mr Biden told a press conference it was time to step up efforts to isolate Russia from the international community.

He said if G20 member countries blocked his request to remove Russia, then Ukraine should be invited to attend the meetings.

“The single most important thing is for us to stay unified and the world to continue to focus on what a brute this guy (Russian President Vladimir Putin) is and all the innocent people’s lives that will be lost and ruined and what’s going on,” Mr Biden told reporters.

He said he didn’t expect the sanctions to have an impact in the short term, but he expected in the months to come the sustained pressure would take a toll on Mr Putin’s ability to wage war.

Joe Biden speaks in Brussels. (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

“If you’re Putin and you think that Europe is going to crack in a month or six weeks or two months, why not. They can take anything for another month. But the reason I asked for the meeting, we have to stay fully, totally united,” Mr Biden said.

The president’s comments came after he met with the leaders of the 30 Nato countries and G7 partners in back-to-back meetings.

The countries presented a united front against Russia, issuing further sanctions against 300 members of its Parliament and discussing how they would counter the threat of a potential chemical or biological weapon attack.

The US also announced it would take in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and donate $1bn in aid to help Europe deal with the surge of nearly 3 million refugees.

The G20 or Group of Twenty is a forum of the world’s 19 largest economies and the European Union, and has met at least once a year since 2008 to address issues including the financial stability and climate change.

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