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Rishi Sunak calls Russia a ‘rogue state’ as he prepares for tense G20


R

ishi Sunak has called Russia a “rogue state” as he heads into a tense G20 meeting in Bali during which Vladimir Putin’s seat will “remain vacant”.

The Prime Minister arrives in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday for the gathering of the leaders of the world’s biggest economies, in one of his first outings on the global stage since taking office last month.

Mr Putin, who has faced unanimous condemnation from Western leaders over the conflict, is expected to skip the event and send his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov instead.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister said: “The man who is responsible for so much bloodshed in Ukraine and economic strife around the world will not be there to face his peers.”

He added: “We will not let our economic future be held hostage by the actions of a rogue state – and nor will our allies.”

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Mr Sunak wrote of the “five-point plan” he is promoting at the G20, outlining areas he says need “coordinated global action” to stop Russia “trying to asphyxiate the global economy”.

The PM’s first three areas were: “Where it’s needed most” including for Ukraine and those struggling with energy bills; ending Russia’s “weaponisation of food”; and securing supply chains and transitioning away from dependency on Russia for energy.

The last two were the promotion of the global free market and collaboration to ensure “financial stability”, including “calling out” those creating debt traps in emerging economies.

The two-day summit, starting on Tuesday, comes as the world confronts some of the most significant economic challenges since G20 leaders first met to respond to the 2008 financial crisis.

We will not let our economic future be held hostage by the actions of a rogue state – and nor will our allies

Economic woes have been exacerbated by the Ukraine war, which has fuelled a spike in energy and food prices as well as soaring global inflation.

Mr Sunak earlier said he will “call out Putin’s regime” during the first encounter between a British Prime Minister and Russian government officials since Moscow’s full-scale invasion began in February.

He plans to confront Mr Lavrov with allies at the summit’s first plenary session.

Ahead of the trip, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We will absolutely use every opportunity to confront Russia about their continued illegal actions.

“We… will speak with our allies in one voice on this.”

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