LONDON (Reuters) – Russia on Wednesday hailed the G20 leaders’ declaration, which mentions the “immense human suffering” caused by the war in Ukraine, as a “balanced text” that Russian diplomats worked hard to influence.

A general view of the room during a session at the G20 Leaders’ Summit, in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/Pool

The Russian invasion of Ukraine dominated the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, with wrangling over the wording of a final document lasting until the final hours of the summit.

In a section on Ukraine – point 3 of the 52-point document – the leaders said: “Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks.”

The document also noted there were “other views and different assessments of the situation” and said the G20 was “not the forum to resolve security issues”.

The Kremlin published a full and accurate Russian translation of the declaration on its website – a surprising move given that the wording was sharply critical of Moscow.

The statement used the word “war”, referred to “aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine” and mentioned demands from most of the G20 for Moscow’s “complete and unconditional withdrawal” from Ukrainian territory.

Russian media outlets are banned from using the terms “war” or “invasion” to describe what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Laws passed after the Feb. 24 invasion set punishments of up to five years’ jail for discrediting Russia’s armed forces, and up to 15 years for spreading deliberately false information about them.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the final text was an achievement for Russia.

“The difference in approaches and the difference in points of view were noted and recorded in the final declaration. Of course, our experts, the foreign ministry and our sherpa put in a lot of effort to ensure that such a balanced text was born,” he told reporters.

Russia says the purpose of its military action in Ukraine is to eliminate dangerous nationalists and protect Russian speakers. Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of pursuing an unprovoked imperialist land grab.

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