Nov 15, 2022 - World

Emboldened Zelensky says Russia's war "can be stopped"

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a news conference at the Mariinskiy palace in Kyiv on November 3.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a news conference in Kyiv earlier this month. Photo: Genya SAVILOV/Savilov/AFP via Getty Images

BALI, Indonesia — Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky told the G20 leaders summit in Indonesia on Tuesday the liberation of Kherson from Russian forces marked a turning point in the war, according to an English translation of the speech obtained by Axios.

The big picture: Russian President Vladimir Putin did not attend the G20, leaving his deputy, Russian minister of foreign affairs Sergey Lavrov to respond to Zelensky's address. Putin's absence in Bali could give Zelensky a stronger footing to plead his case despite only giving a virtual address.

Details: "I am convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped," said Zelensky, who visited the city of Kherson on Monday.

  • Zelensky denounced "crazy Russian officials" for nuclear weapons threats, in reference to Putin's veiled threat in September to use nuclear arms.

Worth noting: Throughout his speech, Zelensky referred to the "G19" and thanked the group for "making it clear" to Russian officials that there "cannot be any excuses for nuclear blackmail."

What we're watching: In his speech, Zelensky also called for an "all for all" prison swap with Russia and the expansion and extension of the grain export deal, which is due to expire this Saturday.

  • "We must also take a fundamental step so that energy resources are no longer used as weapons," Zelensky said. "Price restrictions on Russian energy resources should be introduced."

What they're saying: Vincent Piket, the European Union's ambassador to Indonesia, tweeted his praise of Zelensky's speech:

A screenshot of the EU ambassador to Indonesia's tweet praising Ukrainian President Zelenksy.
Photo: Vincent Piket, European Union ambassador to Indonesia/Twitter
  • Kremlin officials did not immediately respond to Zelensky's speech.
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