On the margins of the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, leaders met to discuss pressing issues. The conversations were centered around the Ebola outbreak, combating Iraq, climate change and of course the Ukraine crisis. Even though the invasion of Ukraine was not officially discussed, many leaders subjected President Putin to private criticism and asked that he would get out of the country.
The G20 Summit events were market by the following powerful and telling words. Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, told Putin, “I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I have only one thing to say to you: You need to get out of Ukraine.” The consensus reached by all G20 leaders is that Russia’s actions in Ukraine have dire effects on the country and destabilize it.
The Secretary-General himself explained that these actions have effects reaching far beyond the region, and the situation calls for political, rather than military solution. Even though Russian officials denied that they’re supplying men and materials to rebels who have carved out people’s republics in eastern Ukraine, the international community treats this information as a fact. During the Summit, all members expressed their concern and disagreement with the current situation. Unfortunately these efforts have not been particularly fruitful.
During the news conference in Brisbane, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain also condemned Mr. Putin’s actions, saying the Russian leader was at a crossroads. “If he continues to destabilize Ukraine, there’ll be further sanctions, further measures, and there will be a completely different relationship between European countries and America on the one hand, and Russia on the other.”
President Obama described his conversation with President Putin as “blunt and businesslike” as usual. On the other hand, what matters is that Mr. Putin was shown u “real unity of purpose” between the U.S. and Europe over Ukraine. Putin ended up leaving the conference early; many believe that he did so due to the controversy and criticism he received, even though Mr. Putin himself explained that the sole reason for his early departure was the inconvenience of a long flight ahead.
Do you believe that the Summit will have some profound effect on Mr. Putin’s decisions in regards to Ukraine? What actions should be taken to resolve this issue? Is there some justification for Russia’s actions?