G20 summit: Leaders pledge to grow their economies by 2.1%

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has closed the G20 summit by detailing economic pledges agreed by world leaders.

The leaders agreed to boost their economies by at least 2.1% by 2018, adding $2 trillion to global economies.

Much of the summit focused on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s position on the crisis in Ukraine.

Mr Putin faced fierce criticism and left the meeting before it ended, but said the summit was “constructive”.

Mr Putin said he was leaving before the release of the official communique, citing the long flight to home to Russia and the need for sleep.

‘Violating international law’

Australia, as host of the meeting, had sought to keep the focus on economic issues, but the issues of climate change and the conflict in Ukraine attracted significant attention.

US President Barack Obama met European leaders on Sunday to discuss a co-ordinated response to what they see as Russia’s destabilisation of Ukraine.

Mr Obama told reporters Mr Putin was “violating international law, providing heavy arms to the separatists in Ukraine” and violating the Minsk agreement.

He said the “economic isolation” of Russia would continue unless Mr Putin changed course.

In a television interview on Saturday, Mr Putin called for an end to sanctions against Russia, saying they harmed the world economy as well as Russia.

The Kremlin denies sending military forces or heavy weapons to pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine.

During the summit, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and British Prime Minister David Cameron also sharply criticised Mr Putin.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-30072674

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