'End attack on Ukraine': Scholz to Putin in first G20 call since war
(Front row, LtoR) German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, German Minister of Economics and Climate Protection Robert Habeck, Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italy's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner and Italy's Defence Minister Guido Crosetto, (second row, LtoR) German Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil, Italy's Economy Minister, Giancarlo Giorgetti, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Italy's Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso and German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and (last row, LtoR) Italy's Ministerof University and Research, Annamaria Bernini, German Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Italy's Labour Minister Marina Calderone pose for a family photo during the 32nd German-Italian intergovernmental consultations at the Chancellery in Berlin on November 22, 2023. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)
(AFP) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday he urged Vladimir Putin to end Moscow's war on Ukraine and withdraw all troops from the country, in the first G20 video call the Russian president participated in since the conflict.
"I called on President Putin to end his attack on Ukraine and withdraw troops from Ukraine's territory, so that this war can finally end," Scholz told journalists at a press conference in Berlin alongside Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Putin's virtual presence at the G20 summit was "easy" because he did not have to leave Moscow, said Meloni, who also participated in the virtual meeting.
Meloni welcomed Putin's offer to work towards peace in Ukraine but added "we must not forget that in Ukraine there is an aggressor and a (party that was) attacked."
"It is simply enough for Russia to withdraw its troops from the invaded territory".
Putin did not travel to the last two G20 summits -- hosted by India in this September and in Indonesia last year, sending Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his place.
Putin has taken few trips outside Russia since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader over the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children.
The G20 comprises 19 of the world's largest economies plus the European Union and the African Union.
© Agence France-Presse