BALI, Indonesia — President Joe Biden is pushing leaders of the world’s largest economies to enforce a price cap on Russian oil and gas in conversations at the G20 summit.
According to a U.S. official who spoke on a call with reporters, Biden planned to emphasize that the price cap will benefit their economies and help to stabilize the global energy market.
Fence-sitting nations that have declined to implement sanctions against Russia for its war on Ukraine are some of the biggest hold outs on the price cap that the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and European nations are working to put in place by early December.
Indonesia, which is hosting the summit, and India, a top importer of Russian oil, have not agreed to abide by the price cap, which is intended to cut into Moscow’s revenue and make it harder for Russia to continue its war effort.
In opening the summit, Indonesian President Joko Widodo pleaded for unity despite disagreements over Ukraine. The G20 is a “badly needed” forum Widodo told leaders and said, without mentioning Russia: “We must end the war.”
But that’s not all. Here are some other highlights from Biden’s day at the G20:
Leaders socialized together at a private luncheon and held two working sessions. Biden joined Widodo and European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen in hosting a global infrastructure event that leaders, including India’s Narendra Modi, attended.
Biden also held an unscheduled conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which they discussed grain exports from Ukraine and NATO alliance issues.
Biden met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday evening, skipped a gala dinner and turned in for the night.
Biden set aside time on Wednesday before he leaves Bali for the long trip back to Washington to meet with the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. In the morning, he’ll plant a mangrove tree with other world leaders.
Rallying around Ukraine: The U.S. said Tuesday that most G20 nations were preparing to release a statement condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine.
What it will say: Nations will accuse Russia of wreaking havoc on the global economy and causing immense suffering in Ukraine and developing nations that are facing food and fuel insecurity as a result of the war.
Who’s in, who’s out: The U.S. official who briefed reporters declined to say which countries had signed on.
Key opposition: Russia is a member of the G20 and Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Bali attending the summit.
Family photo: Avoiding a potentially awkward moment with Lavrov, the summit schedule does not include the customary “family photo” of world leaders.
Close call: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who Biden met with Saturday in Phnom Penh, tested positive for COVID. The White House says Biden’s test came back negative.
With so many of Biden’s interactions taking place behind closed doors at the G20, it will be hard to know which leaders he sought out and which nations he avoided.
For instance, word of Biden’s unscheduled conversation with Erdogan spread through Turkish media prior to an acknowledgement that a meeting had taken place from the White House.
The meeting was the first encounter between both heads of state, following the bombing in downtown Istanbul on Sunday that killed six people, allegedly at the hand of a Syrian national with suspected links to Kurdish militants. At the time, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu blamed the U.S. because of its support for Syrian Kurdish groups.
The White House said in a statement Tuesday that Biden had “expressed his deep condolences to President Erdogan” and the people of Turkey “on the acts of violence in Istanbul and made clear we stand with our NATO Ally.”
Earlier in the trip, Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters the president has no plans to sit down with Mohammad bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia — but that does rule out a situation where Biden ends up speaking with the crown prince during one of the events.
The president was seen speaking to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who recently traveled to Beijing, French President Emmanuel Macron and India’s Modi. Biden meet with with Xi on Monday evening in Bali.
Biden is unlikely to talk to Lavrov, given the U.S. president’s efforts to get G20 nations to punish and isolate Russia.
What they are saying
Sullivan said told reporters prior to the summit that Biden’s focus would be on energy security, the clean energy transition, food security, debt relief for low- and middle-income countries, multilateral development bank reform and the launch of a pandemic preparedness fund.
“He will also rally likeminded nations to speak out forcefully against Russia’s illegal invasion in — and illegal war in Ukraine, which has exacerbated many of these challenges,” Sullivan said.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino told leaders during a luncheon that he wanted to talk to them about the “one topic” he believes they all can agree on: “Football.”
Infantino said the sport, which is known as soccer in the United States, is “truly unique” and “unites the world.”
The oil and gas cap will be hard to implement without India and
Why Biden’s meeting with Erdogan matters
Turkey has been essential to maintaining a deal with Russia to export grain from Ukraine, in order to prevent a global hunger crisis.
“President Biden expressed his appreciation to President Erdogan for his efforts to renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which they both agreed has been critical to improving global food security amid Russia’s war and that the Initiative must continue,” the White House said in a statement after their meeting.
The two leaders also discussed Turkey’s efforts to slow-walk an expansion of the NATO security alliance, the White House’s statement signaled.
“The two also discussed continued close coordination on NATO Alliance issues, and other issues of regional and global concern,” it said.
Turkey has been blocking NATO membership for Sweden and Finland for several months. Erdogan agreed to allow the nations to join in June but has since withheld his support. Turkey wants the nations to extradite Kurdish militants it suspects of terrorism.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joe Biden pushes nations at G20 summit to take harder line on Russia