G20 summit threatens to fail due to dispute over Russia
Can the leading economic powers agree on a clear condemnation of the Russian war in Ukraine, as they did last year? An alliance of Beijing and Moscow is opposed to this.
The G20 summit of the leading economic powers in India threatens to fail due to the dispute over a clear condemnation of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. It is difficult to predict whether it will be possible to reach an agreement, said EU Council President Charles Michel on Friday before the start of the meeting in the capital New Delhi this Saturday. One reason is that, unlike last year in Bali, it seems more difficult for some states to agree to a clear condemnation.
Delegations reported a tough struggle between negotiators over the wording for a final declaration. According to the information, the West was faced with an alliance of China and Russia. Beijing is considered Moscow’s most important international partner and has not yet condemned the war of aggression against Ukraine.
Host India hopes for a joint final declaration. “We are continuing to work on a consensus,” said Indian negotiator Amitabh Kant. India’s focus is on concerns of the global south.
In addition to the EU, the G20 includes 19 of the world’s strongest economies. The round is a central forum for international economic cooperation, but now also deals with many other global issues from the fight against terrorism to climate protection.
EU emphasizes support for Kiev and pressure on Moscow
EU Council President Michel said: “Russia continues to attack Ukraine, killing people and destroying their cities.” The EU will therefore continue to support Ukraine and put pressure on Russia. The Russian war is also affecting other regions of the world. More than 250 million people face food insecurity. By attacking Ukrainian ports for grain exports, the Kremlin is depriving them of the food they desperately need.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, when asked whether she expected an agreement on a statement including a section on the Ukraine war, said: “We stand ready to work with India to draft a communiqué that successfully addresses this concern.” But it is “a challenge”.
Moscow accuses the West of putting pressure on India
Russia accused the leading democratic economic powers (G7) of putting pressure on India. The West is trying to impose its “one-sided approach to the situation around Ukraine” on the G20 final document, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said. Geopolitical issues, the “crisis in Ukraine” and other armed conflicts should be addressed at the United Nations (UN) level. The UN will meet next week for the General Assembly in New York.
In addition to Germany, the G7 group also includes France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the USA and Great Britain. The G7 condemns the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and wants to see this position reflected in the G20 statement.
At the previous summit on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali in 2022, Moscow agreed, apparently under pressure from China, to include the sentence in the final declaration: “Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine.” Russia’s position was depicted with the words: “There were different views and different assessments of the situation and the sanctions.”
Russia: Focus on global economy and development
The Russian Foreign Ministry now emphasized: “We are convinced that the G20’s decisions should be based solely on consensus, without any of its members opting out.” The priority is a declaration that serves the recovery of the global economy, sustainable development and thus the interests of all countries. Russia will fight against Western attempts to link the world’s economic and humanitarian problems to Ukraine.
Russia will be represented in New Delhi by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – he arrived on Friday. Russian President Vladimir Putin started the war against Ukraine on February 24, 2022. He will stay away from the summit like in 2022. China’s head of state Xi Jinping is also not coming and is being represented by Prime Minister Li Qiang.
USA: More money for development bank
US Treasury Secretary Yellen is relying on commitments to provide greater support for poorer countries. “We hope that other countries will join us depending on their financial capabilities.” It should also be about money for the World Bank. The development bank lends money to poor countries on favorable terms. This is intended to strengthen their economy and combat poverty. US President Joe Biden recently asked the US Congress to approve a good two billion US dollars for the World Bank.
“This week is also an opportunity to discuss debt relief,” said Yellen, given the debt crisis in poorer countries. China has long been under international pressure to agree to debt relief for poor countries – after they took out loans from Beijing.
Ghost town of New Delhi – monkeys and dogs driven away
Massive security precautions severely restricted public life in the metropolis of New Delhi one day before the start of the G20 summit – parts of the center resembled a ghost town. Many shops, schools and offices were closed. More than 100,000 security forces were expected to patrol the streets. Before the summit, the authorities had also made efforts to drive away New Delhi’s large number of monkeys and street dogs from the city center.