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The Ukrainian Canadian Congress wants Canada to up the pressure on Vladimir Putin's regime and lead a global charge to get Russia expelled from the G20.

Congress president Alexandra Chyczij has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to take steps to expel Russia from the forum of leading world economies.

Chyczij said Russia is using the G20 as a platform to lie about its reasons for invading Ukraine.

The congress is concerned that if Putin is allowed to attend the G20 heads of state and government meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in November it would send the wrong message and undermine the G20's credibility.

It would also make it difficult for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to attend the summit as a guest.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly will attend the G20 meeting of foreign ministers in Indonesia this week, even though her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov is also expected to attend.

Joly told The Canadian Press that she would not shake Lavrov's hand and plans to use the opportunity to call out Russian lies about the invasion.

In March, Joly joined others in walking out of a United Nations meeting in Geneva when Lavrov, whom Canada had brought sanctions against days earlier, began speaking.

In her letter, Chyczij pointed out that the Canadian Parliament has declared that Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Canadian Congress calls on #Canada to lead effort to oust #Russia from #G20. #UkrainianCanadianCongress #UkraineInvasion

Because of this, and the government’s policy of isolating the Russian Federation from the international community, the congress said Canada should lead the process of expelling Russia from the G20.

In 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he wanted leaders to expel Russia from the G8 group of industrialized nations after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. After Russia's membership was suspended indefinitely, the remaining nations became known as the G7.

Chyczij said Canada should "demonstrate the same bold leadership in calling for the removal of Russia from the G20."

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Joly and other ministers have refused to share the floor when Russia speaks at summits.

In March, Joly joined others in walking out of a United Nations meeting in Geneva when Lavrov, whom Canada had brought sanctions against days earlier, began speaking.

In April, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland joined a walkout of a G20 meeting for finance ministers and central bank governors in Washington in protest over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In May, International Trade Minister Mary Ng joined her counterparts from the United States, Australia, Japan and New Zealand in leaving an APEC meeting in Bangkok when the Russian representative began to speak.

In an interview after the walkout, Ng said it would not be a "one-off" and she would be prepared to do it again.

Last week, Trudeau said Canada would take part in the G20 leaders’ meeting in November even if Putin goes, too, arguing it is important to counteract the voice Russia will have at that table.

Canada’s attendance alongside Russia in Indonesia creates a diplomatic predicament at the G20, including at this week's summit for foreign ministers in Bali.

Joly recently said it was unacceptable for a Canadian official to attend a reception hosted by the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.

And Russian's foreign minister has been one of the most vocal proponents of the invasion and Putin’s justifications.

Orest Zakydalsky, senior policy adviser for the congress, urged Joly and other foreign ministers to walk out of the G20 if Lavrov speaks.

"There is nothing to be gained from sitting and listening to a liar trying to justify Putin's war," he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2022.

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