Russia's war in Ukraine and worries over global inflation, food and energy security loomed large as the Group of 20 (G-20) leaders summit kicked off in Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday.
The leaders were considering a draft resolution Tuesday in which most members strongly condemn the war in Ukraine and stress it is exacerbating fragilities in the global economy, diplomats said.
The summit on the Indonesian island of Bali is the first G-20 leaders' meeting since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.
The war, which Russia has described as a "special military operation," has overshadowed the meeting despite calls from host Indonesia for unity and to focus on action to resolve global economic problems like inflation, and food and energy security.
"Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy," the 16-page draft declaration said, according to a copy seen by Reuters.
"There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions," said the draft, which was confirmed by a European diplomat.
It has not been adopted by the leaders and is likely to be opposed by Russia. A decision on the resolution was unlikely before Wednesday, diplomats said.
A U.S. official said earlier that the United States expected the G-20 to condemn Russia's war in Ukraine and its impact on the global economy.
G-20 ministers' gatherings in the past have failed to produce joint declarations due to disagreement between Russia and other members on language, including on how to describe the war in Ukraine.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the summit in a virtual address that now was the time to stop Russia's war in his country under a plan he has proposed "justly and on the basis of the U.N. Charter and international law".
He called for restoring "radiation safety" with regard to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, introducing price restrictions on Russian energy resources, and expanding a grain export initiative.
"Please choose your path for leadership – and together we will surely implement the peace formula," he said.
The summit opened with a plea by Indonesian President Joko Widodo for unity and concrete action to mend the global economy despite deep rifts over the war.
"We have no other option, collaboration is needed to save the world," he said. "G-20 must be the catalyst for inclusive economic recovery. We should not divide the world into parts. We must not allow the world to fall into another cold war."
The G-20, which includes countries ranging from the United States, Russia and Brazil to India, Saudi Arabia and Germany, accounts for more than 80% of the world's gross domestic product, 75% of international trade and 60% of its population.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine triggered calls by some Western leaders for a boycott of the summit and for the withdrawal of Russian President Vladimir Putin's invitation, but Indonesia resisted and refused to do so.
Russia has said Putin was too busy to attend and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is taking his place. Lavrov dismissed a news agency report on Monday that he had been taken to hospital in Bali with a heart condition and was present at the meeting.
He remained in the room while Zelenskyy made his address, delegates said.
On the eve of the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held bilateral talks in which they pledged more frequent communication despite many differences.
The meeting was the first the two had in person since Biden became president and it appeared to signal an improvement in relations between the superpowers after a downward spiral in recent months.
Xi and Putin have grown increasingly close in recent years and reaffirmed their partnership just days before Russia invaded Ukraine. Nevertheless, China has been careful not to provide any direct material support that could trigger Western sanctions against it.
On Tuesday, Xi told French President Emmanuel Macron during a bilateral meeting that China advocated a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace talks, Chinese state media reported.
Macron said it was crucial for France and China to cooperate more closely to overcome the consequences of the war in Ukraine, his office said, adding that the two leaders had agreed it was urgent to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine and reaffirmed their position on preventing the use of nuclear weapons.
On Monday, Biden and Xi "underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine" during their meeting, the White House said.
Xi told Biden nuclear weapons cannot be used and nuclear wars cannot be fought, the Chinese foreign minister said in a statement.
The West has accused Russia of making irresponsible statements on the possible use of nuclear weapons since its invasion of Ukraine. Russia has in turn accused the West of "provocative" nuclear rhetoric.