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Home中国Ukraine latest: Russia's Lavrov dismisses West's 'frenzied' criticism at G-20

Ukraine latest: Russia’s Lavrov dismisses West’s ‘frenzied’ criticism at G-20

The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on Feb. 24 continues, with casualties mounting on both sides.

Ukrainian forces are putting up resistance in the east, where the focus of the war has shifted, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy regularly calls on the world to do more to help. Governments around the globe have imposed heavy sanctions against Moscow but have stopped short of direct intervention for fear of sparking a wider conflict.

Meanwhile, rising geopolitical risk and volatile energy and financial markets are rocking Asia.

For all our coverage, visit our Ukraine war page.

Read our in-depth coverage:

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Russia’s failure to cement Black Sea dominance has lessons for China

Entries include material from wire services and other sources.

Note: Nikkei Asia on March 5 decided to temporarily suspend its reporting from Russia until further information becomes available regarding the scope of the revised criminal code.

Here are the latest developments:

Friday, July 8 (Tokyo time)

4:50 p.m. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed Russia directly at the G-20 foreign ministers meeting in Bali and called on Moscow to let Ukrainian grain out to the world, Reuters reports citing a Western official. Blinken spoke at a plenary session of the meeting, which was focused on food and energy insecurity, said the official, who did not want to be identified. “He addressed Russia directly, saying: ‘To our Russian colleagues: Ukraine is not your country. Its grain is not your grain. Why are you blocking the ports? You should let the grain out,’” the official said.

3:30 p.m. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismisses what he cast as the West’s “frenzied” criticism of the war in Ukraine at a G-20 meeting, scolding Russia’s rivals for scuppering a chance to tackle global economic issues. “During the discussion, Western partners avoided following the mandate of the G-20, from dealing with issues of the world economy,” Lavrov said. He said the West’s discussion “strayed almost immediately, as soon as they took the floor, to the frenzied criticism of the Russian Federation in connection with the situation in Ukraine. ‘Aggressors,’ ‘invaders,’ ‘occupiers,’ — we heard a lot of things today,” Lavrov said.

12:52 p.m. Indonesia urges the G-20 to help end the war in Ukraine, as foreign ministers from the group gather for a meeting that has put some of the staunchest critics of Russia’s invasion in the same room as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The buildup to the gathering on the Indonesian island of Bali has been dominated by the war and its impact on the global economy, with top officials from Western countries and Japan stressing it would not be “business as usual” at the forum. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said at the opening of talks, “It is our responsibility to end the war sooner than later and settle our differences at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in remarks to Russian lawmakers on July 7, said the West was welcome to try to beat Russia militarily, but that this would harm Ukraine. (Kremlin via Reuters)

7:00 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses the West of decades of aggression toward Moscow and warns that if it wants to attempt to beat Russia on the battlefield it is welcome to try, but this would bring tragedy for Ukraine. His remarks came as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov prepared for a closed-door foreign ministers’ meeting at a G-20 gathering in Indonesia on Friday. “We have heard many times that the West wants to fight us to the last Ukrainian. This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it seems that everything is heading toward this,” Putin said in televised remarks to parliamentary leaders.

4:00 a.m. Ukrainians feel saddened by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says.

“We are sincerely grateful for the decisive and uncompromising help since the first days of the war,” Zelenskyy says in a Facebook post. “I thank you in particular for the leadership in defending the interests of Ukraine in the international arena.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meet in Kyiv on April 9. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service handout via Reuters)

3:00 a.m. U.S. President Joe Biden will discuss energy security with Gulf leaders on his trip to the Middle East next week, White House spokesman John Kirby says.

His itinerary will include meetings with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Kirby says.

1:53 a.m. U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner pleads guilty to a drugs charge in a Russian court but denies she intentionally broke the law. Griner was speaking at her trial on the narcotics charge carrying a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, days after she urged U.S. President Joe Biden to secure her release.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after authorities found what they said were vape cartridges containing hashish oil. She has been kept in custody since.

1:45 a.m. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov posts an update on the country’s “dronation” campaign of collecting drones and cash donations to buy them for front-line troops.

“An Army of Drones will allow us to constantly monitor the 2,470 km long frontline and provide an effective response to enemy attacks,” the donation website says.

Fedorov doubles as Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation and is known for reaching out to Tesla chief and SpaceX founder Elon Musk with a request for Starlink satellite phones.

Thursday, July 7 (Tokyo time)

5:50 p.m. Pavel Zavalny, head of the energy committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, says that the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project in the country’s far east will be put under Moscow’s jurisdiction, as has the neighboring Sakhalin-2. President Vladimir Putin last week signed a decree enabling the seizure of full control of the Sakhalin-2 gas and oil project, a move that could force out investors including Shell and Japanese entities. Four companies — Rosneft, ExxonMoobil, Japan’s SODECO and India’s ONGC Videsh — are partners in the Sakhalin-1 group of fields. ExxonMobil decided to pull out from the project in March.

Afghans receive aid at a camp in the province of Paktika on June 26 following an earthquake. The United Nations Development Program said July 7 that the number of people living off $1.90 a day or less grew to 9% of the global population in the first three months after the Ukraine war.

  © AP

3:30 p.m. A staggering 71 million more people around the world are experiencing poverty as a result of soaring food and energy prices that climbed in the weeks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United Nations Development Program says in a report. The UNDP estimates that 51.6 million more people fell into poverty in the first three months after the war, living off $1.90 a day or less. This pushed the total number globally at this threshold to 9% of the world’s population. An additional 20 million people slipped to the poverty line of $3.20 a day. “The cost-of-living impact is almost without precedent in a generation … and that is why it is so serious,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said at the launch of the report.

11:00 a.m. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says attempts by the West to punish a nuclear power such as Russia for the war in Ukraine risk endangering humanity. “The idea of punishing a country that has one of the largest nuclear potentials is absurd. And potentially poses a threat to the existence of humanity,” Medvedev, now deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said on Telegram on Wednesday. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered the most serious crisis in relations between Russia and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when many people feared the world was on the brink of nuclear war.

7:23 a.m. Spikes in the prices of food, fuel and fertilizer sparked by the war in Ukraine are threatening to push countries around the world into famine, bringing “global destabilization, starvation and mass migration on an unprecedented scale,” a top U.N. official warns. David Beasley, head of the U.N. World Food Program, said its latest analysis shows that “a record 345 million acutely hungry people are marching to the brink of starvation” — a 25% increase from 276 million at the start of 2022, before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. The number stood at 135 million before the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

More than 424 million faced hunger in Asia in 2021, according to the latest State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report.

3:00 a.m. Sri Lanka’s president has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to help finance fuel imports for the crisis-stricken South Asian nation.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa tweets that he had a “very productive” phone call with Putin.

“I requested an offer of credit support to import fuel,” Rajapaksa adds. He writes that he asked for Russian airline Aeroflot to resume operations in Sri Lanka.

For earlier updates, click here.

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