Putin on Ukraine and Gaza

Putin calls on G20 to direct attention to tragedies outside Ukraine

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said at a G20 virtual summit that he understands the shock from the loss of life in Ukraine, but conflicts elsewhere, including in the Gaza Strip, are also shocking.

The Russian president was commenting on statements by some other participants that they were “shaken by the ongoing aggression in Ukraine.” 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 tragedy,” the president said.

“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 – is that not shocking? And the extermination of civilians in Palestine, in the Gaza Strip now – isn’t that shocking? And the fact that doctors [in Gaza] have to perform abdominal surgeries on children, apply a scalpel on children’s bodies without anesthesia – is that not shocking?” he went on to say. “And the fact that the secretary general of the United Nations said that Gaza has turned into a huge children’s cemetery – is that not shocking?”

The president said Russia has never refused to hold 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 said.

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The president also noted that the G20 was established to find solutions to pressing international social and economic issues. He said such a consolidating approach is very much in demand.

“Especially since confrontational attempts of various kinds still continue,” he stated.

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