BALI, INDONESIA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Bali, Indonesia on Monday for a gathering of leaders from the G-20 countries.
The world’s largest 20 economies meet each year in an attempt to collectively mitigate risks to the global economic system and find progress on issues ranging from climate change to nuclear safety.
As the summit host, Indonesia has asked leaders to focus on shoring up health systems and boosting food and energy security.
Indonesia has stressed the importance of focusing on consensus instead of division, a view at odds with Ottawa.
“My focus is going to be making sure that the world comes together to reinforce that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin made a terrible, terrible choice when he decided to invade a peaceful, neighbouring country,” Trudeau said Sunday, in reference to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
His remarks came at the end of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia.
“Russia is directly, uniquely responsible for a large part of the challenges the world is facing right now, whether it’s the global migration crisis, the global food crisis (or the) global energy crisis,” he said at a closing press conference in Phnom Penh.
Moscow is sending its foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to the Bali summit after weeks of speculation on whether Putin would attend. Trudeau noted the summit is meant for heads of government.
“In general, I don’t have a particular interest in speaking to Lavrov,” Trudeau said in French.
Some of the G-20 states say they want to maintain ties with Russia in spite of the conflict.
In recent months, China, India and South Africa have abstained from United Nations resolutions condemning Russia, and their leaders will be at the summit.
Trudeau said that amounts to a cop out when the war in Ukraine is affecting everyone.
“It’s at the heart of why so many of our citizens are struggling right now, and it would be irresponsible for us as leaders to not come together to recognize that,” he said in English.
“Even those countries that have not pronounced themselves as clearly as I think they should … will always stand up to defend territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
The meeting comes as Canadian industry leaders seek deeper ties with Indonesia, the world’s fourth most-populous country that has a soaring economy.
Indonesia’s poverty rate has dropped from a quarter of the population at the turn of the millennium, to 9.78 per cent in 2020. Nearly two-thirds of the population of roughly 280 million is of working age.

By Dylan Robertson
The Canadian Press